SEOUL, Apr. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of South Korean office workers have expressed discomfort with the growing use of CCTV cameras in the workplace.
According to Jikjanggabjil119, a civic group dedicated to office workers, a total of 37 complaints have been filed about the questionable use of CCTV cameras in the workplace over the last few months.
Most complaints alleged security cameras were being used to monitor staff, with CCTV video footage used as evidence for punitive measures at work in some cases.
One worker was subject to criticism after being observed using a remote car starter in the cold winter weather just five minutes before leaving work.
The controversial use of security cameras for monitoring staff isn’t new in South Korean workplaces, but most cases go unreported.
In a 2013 survey, just over 28 percent of office workers said they would raise issue with violation of privacy, according to the National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea.
The Personal Information Protection Act as it stands states personal information collection requires agreement from the parties involved, and encourages the minimum amount of information necessary for the original purpose.
While the Act on the Promotion of Worker Participation and Cooperation also encourages agreement between management and labor, companies aren’t legally bound to reach agreement with staff when it comes to installing security cameras.
The loopholes leave just enough room for monitoring in the workplace, which many see as an abuse of power.
Last month, the Employment and Labor Administration Reform Committee, an advisory body to the labor ministry, urged the minister to inspect workplaces over a number of issues, including bullying, verbal abuse, and the use of CCTV cameras for the purpose of monitoring staff.
The committee is expected to present a policy recommendation to the labor minister after drafting reform proposals based on findings from the proposed investigations.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)