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Israeli Privacy Protection Authority Seeks to Limit Employee Geolocation Monitoring

Publications / Sep 01, 2021

Article written by Haim Ravia and Dotan Hammer

The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority (PPA) published for public comments a draft opinion on the collection of employees’ geolocation data through dedicated apps and vehicle geolocation systems. The opinion comes in response to the rising use of technological tools to monitor and track employees who work remotely.

According to the PPA, the practice of tracking employees is common mainly in sectors characterized by a difficulty to track employees’ conduct, work hours, and productivity, such as drivers, salespersons, and delivery persons. This form of tracking has become even more common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PPA’s draft opinion states that employers who wish to track their employees through a geolocation system (via an application installed on the employee’s personal device or a geolocation system installed in a company car assigned to the employee) are required to do so for a specific legitimate purpose which is vital to the interests of the workplace, and even then only if no other less invasive alternative can be adopted. Before using a geolocation system to track an employee, the employer is required to consider the type of work and the nature of the employee’s job function:  For example, tracking an employee whose main job function is performing ordinary office activities is less likely to be legitimized.

Employers who choose to monitor their employees must adhere to the following principles:

  • The information collected cannot be used for any other purpose;
  • The employer should notify employees of the following, before commencing the collection of geolocation data: which data will be collected, what are the purposes for collection, when will it be collected, what is the retention period, and what other employees will have access to it;
  • The employee must grant explicit consent for the collection of geolocation data for the specific purposes determined by the employer;
  • Geolocation data will not be collected outside of the employees’ official work hours.

CLICK HERE to read to PPA’s draft opinion on the collection of employees’ geolocation data through dedicated apps and vehicle geolocation systems (in Hebrew).