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Smelly Tele cooks up rotten ‘occu-pie’

Smelly Tele cooks up rotten ‘occu-pie’

Proving yet again that newspaper management is mostly un-competent in the English-speaking world, the London Daily Tele has cooked up a “pie” that has its staff up-chucking.

Smelly Tele cooks up rotten ‘occu-pie’

Psychologist Eve Ash has lambasted secret devices installed by bosses to spy on whether or not staff are working at their desks.

Monitoring staff in such a way is a complete invasion of staff’s privacy, she said.

Ash, a member of Civil Liberties Australia who makes workplace management and training films and is a noted public speaker, was responding to reports from the UK where the London Daily Telegraph had apparently installed – overnight and without telling its journalists – ‘spy-like’ surveillance devices under their desks.

sml SQ OccupEye deviceThe secret installation caused an uproar from the paper’s journalists and their union. Googling the name on the devices, journalists found they were wireless motion detectors produced by a company called OccupEye that monitor whether individuals are using their desks.

Photo: OccupEye on the job

“This was amazing, and to do it with no discussion whatsoever was unbelievable,” Ms Ash said. “We already have workplaces where trust is susceptible to being damaged: this is like a giant sword through that trust.”

“I think everybody needs targets or personal performance indicators that are agreed with management,” she says. “For journalists it might be that they have to deliver a certain amount of articles per day and the quality of that is controlled by their editor. It’s no longer about hours sitting at a desk, it is about delivery of outcomes.”

The newspaper removed the devices the same day journalists discovered they were under secret surveillance.

OccupEye later said:  “We regret if any staff within any of our client workspaces have not received communication in advance of an OccupEye deployment and thus had unfounded concerns – we can only reassure those people that they have nothing to fear from our system … quite the opposite, they are working for a smart organisation”.

CLA would like to hear from any Australian organisations where similar spy devices are in use. Fairfax Media reports that KPMG is using surveillance software attached to the firm’s computers.

Note: Ms Ash is the producer-writer-director behind ‘Shadow of Doubt’, the documentary that tells the tragic story of a miscarriage of justice in Tasmania: Sue Neill-Fraser is now in her seventh year of wrongful detention in Risdon Prison because the state’s police, forensic and legal systems appear to have let her down. It is expected her new appeal, under the new Right To Appeal law championed by Civil Liberties Australia and passed in November 2015, will be lodged soon. Trailer:


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