As a result of the recent reform of the Italian labor law system ("Jobs Act"), the Government amended Section 4 of the Workers' Statute, and expressly provided for the possibility for the employer to use audio-visual systems and other equipment from which derives the possibility of remote monitoring of workers not only for organizational and productive purposes and for job security, but also for the protection of business assets, in any case upon bargain with the unions.

The measure also definitely clarifies that such agreements with unions are not required for those instruments used by employees to perform their job, such as PCs, phones, tablets, GPS connected to corporate network, as well as badges for the access logging. Finally, the new rules introduce the possibility for the employer to make use of the information collected through all these instruments for any work-related purpose, provided that the employee is provided with adequate information on modalities of use of the instruments and relevant employer’s control and that the use of the information is made according to the provisions of the Privacy Code.

The Data Protection Authority before the issue of the new rules had already raised concerns about the risk that such new rules allow massive controls and indiscriminate use of business tools for disciplinary purposes.

Waiting for further guidelines by the Authority, it is clear that in light of the new rules, companies must adopt appropriate policies and procedures which rule employees’ use of business tools, employer’s control and use of the information by the employer.