Many employees generally are not be familiar with the specific details of the law. The employer should only collect personal information that's necessary for its stated purpose, and collect it by fair and lawful means.
For almost all personal information — including pay and benefit records, formal and informal personnel files, video or audio tapes, and records of web-browsing, electronic mail, and keystrokes — the following basic rules help to establish and maintain that balance: The employer should say what personal information it collects from employees, why it collects it, and what it does with it.
Back to top General privacy principles The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's website contains further information on good practice for organisations dealing with employees' personal information.
In these circumstances, the FW Act: allows a permit holder to inspect or copy documents which are directly relevant to the suspected contravention allows a permit holder to inspect or copy the documents of members of the organisation the permit holder is from allows a permit holder to inspect or copy the documents of non-members where consent has been obtained from the specific non-members or an order for access has been obtained from the Fair Work Commission exempts an employer from allowing the permit holder to inspect or copy documents if doing so would contravene a federal law including the federal privacy laws or a state or territory law.
However, the law becomes murky when an employee uses their personal Smartphone to conduct work-related matters. Respecting employees' privacy An employer's need for information should be balanced with an employee's right to privacy.
Skeptics worry about the technology's potential to dehumanize employees.