The Israeli Privacy Act is not dissimilar to EU Data Protection laws and indeed Israel is deemed an approved country for EU member states to export personal data to.

ILITA, the Israeli Data Protection Authority published draft guidance on privacy in the workplace in late Spring of 2012 which mirrors much of the EU approach to the same subject. As employers increasingly collect personal data of employees from job application to job termination and even process the same beyond termination ILITA requires the application of information privacy principles in the workplace.

These principles include:

  • Informed Consent (for example the employees consent to the processing  of personal data);
  • Specified purpose (for example to provide a reasonable explanation for each piece of personal data collected);
  • Proportionality (in other words there is a correlation between the legitimate objective of collection, the method of collection and subsequent processing on the basis of the least intrusive collection method;
  • Transparency (for example providing a fair processing statement and notice);
  • Purpose limitation (for example insuring that personal data is only processed for the purposes for which it is really required;
  • Information Security (for example appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep personal data secure);
  • Control over outsourcing (for example the need to ensure that where personal data is outsourced then appropriate policies and procedures are put in place to manage the outsourcing relationship);
  • Subject Access Rights - (for example employees must be entitled to know what data is being processed about them, to be able to review it and if necessary to request that inaccurate data is corrected).

Over and above these principles ILITA also is proposing stricter controls on monitoring of employees activities in the workplace recognising that even though an employee is using business equipment there is a right to privacy and to human rights.

Businesses with operations in Israel that already comply with EU laws should have no problem in complying with the equivalent laws and regulations in Israel.

Our experience is that if a company has a clear policy over monitoring in the workplace, communicate this appropriately and transparently to the employees, engage with trade union representatives or works counsel where appropriate, audit compliance and provide suitable training then it is almost “business as usual”.