50% increase in sales of surveillance software since pandemic started

By VARINDIA - 2021-09-25

50% increase in sales of surveillance software since pandemic started

The use of employee surveillance software jumped 50% last year during lockdown and has continued to grow since March of this year, according to research by Top10VPN, a virtual private network review site.

 

Some of the software sold allows managers to secretly spy on employees, including turning on remote cameras and microphones as well as monitoring keystrokes.

 

Most office workers are aware that their employer can gain access to the Slack messages, emails, and websites they visit on their company computer. But more extensive tracking of workers inside their own homes is relatively new, and it creates a new level of concern for workers’ privacy, said Calli Schroeder, global privacy counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC. “Sometimes people are aware, but sometimes the tools are extremely hidden,” she said.

 

Software such as StaffCop and Clever Control, for instance, allow remote control of webcams and microphones, enabling surveillance around homes and people’s private lives.

 

Others measure keystrokes, capture passwords typed into websites and programs, monitor private messages on social media chat, or take random screenshots of the desktop to ensure a person isn’t watching Netflix all day. One application, NetVizor, claims it operates “entirely in stealth, invisible to the consumer.”


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