Whose Computer is it Anyway: accessing pornography using company equipment and systems

Employers should have clear, unambiguous policies respecting the use, searching and monitoring of work-issued technology, including  “bring your own device” arrangements.

At a minimum such policies should address:

  • appropriate and inappropriate usage of social media, computers and other employer technology;
  • the employer's right to access technological devices and the reasons for such access;

  • unambiguous language to tell employees that they should not have any expectation of privacy in technology and equipment provided by the employer for business purposes; and

  • unambiguous language about what personal information will be collected, used and
    disclosed, and for what purposes. Any continuous recordings or surveillance of the workplace should be disclosed to employees, and they should be advised that the information collected can be used for specified purposes, such as discipline or safety.

It is also imperative that employers ensure that employees are made aware (and reminded) of these policies and consistently enforce such policies.

Jones v Tsige, 2012 ONCA 32
R v Cole, [2012] 3 SCR 34
R v Marakah [2016] O.J. No. 3738