Earlier this week, there were reports that Germany was considering drafting a law concerning the privacy rights of employees in the workplace, as well as the rights of job applicants. Now, the Associated Press reports:
The draft law on employee data security presented by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Wednesday is the government’s latest attempt to address privacy concerns about online services including social networks and Google “Street View”.
It is also a reaction to corporations checking on employee e-mails and filming sales clerks during coffee breaks — which has triggered public outrage in Germany.
De Maiziere acknowledged that some of the new regulations — which have yet to be discussed and passed by parliament — might be complicated to enact.
For example, employers will still be allowed to run a search on the Web on their applicants, de Maiziere said. Anything out in public is fair game, as are postings on networks specifically created for business contacts, such as LinkedIn.
In contrast, it will be illegal to become a Facebook friend with an applicant in order to check out private details, he said, adding that some people seem to be indiscriminate about whom they accept as a friend. […]
The new law will also prevent clandestine video surveillance in the workplace, particularly in private spaces like lavatories or locker rooms, de Maiziere said. An employer ignoring the new rule could be charged fines of up to euro300,000 (about $379,000).