Mutual life and pensions company Royal London’s move to install security software to monitor the individual computer activity of its 2,900 UK employees could damage staff morale, lawyers have warned.
The Monitoring and Audit System from 3ami allows the firm to scrutinise employee activity on each PC and store the information in a database, which can be investigated on a daily basis or over a longer period of time.
Royal London said the system would help to foster “an environment of trust” with staff and that strong security controls were an important part of its IT strategy.
But Paul Kwain, committee member of the Employment Lawyers Association, said the system was reminiscent of a ‘Big Brother’ scenario, where employees are watched 24 hours a day.
Nick Harwood, group IT security manager at Royal London, responded: “Let’s be clear. Although the system will let us, we do not sit and secretly watch what people are doing day-to-day, but we do consider it our responsibility to be able to check, if we need to, how our IT is being used.”