Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation argues that there is an electronic surveillance gap in the employment context in Canada, a gap that is best understood as an absence of appropriate legal provisions to regulate employers’ electronic surveillance of employees both inside and outside the workplace. This dissertation aims to identify and articulate principles and values that can be used to close the electronic surveillance gap in Canada and suggests that, through the synthesis of social theories of surveillance and privacy, together with analyses of privacy provisions and workplace privacy cases, a new and better workplace privacy regime can be designed. This dissertation uses both a comparative legal doctrinal methodology concerning the legal analyses of privacy provisions and workplace privacy cases, and an interdisciplinary legal methodology regarding social theories of surveillance and privacy, to examine the jurisdictions of Canada, the United States, and the European Union. The ideas generated in the analyses are used to formulate proposed provisions for a new workplace privacy regime. This dissertation indicates how these provisions can be integrated into Canada’s legal system, and provides examples of legislative provisions that could form part of a new workplace privacy regime. These proposed provisions modify and add to existing data protection legislation in Canada, such as the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The result is a better balance of the privacy rights of employees with the legitimate business interests of employers through an effective closing of the electronic surveillance gap in employment. This dissertation contributes to a better appreciation of the role of electronic surveillance in employment, to a better understanding of the nature of electronic surveillance gap, and makes concrete suggestions about how the electronic surveillance gap can be closed by means of novel legislative provisions.
Summary for Lay Audience
This dissertation argues that there is a need for new laws regulating the electronic surveillance of employees by employers. These new laws can be drawn from a combination of surveillance and privacy theories, and from legal analyses of privacy legislation and workplace privacy cases. This dissertation creates a new workplace privacy regime that more effectively balances the interests of the affected parties. This dissertation offers a deeper understanding of the role of electronic surveillance in the employment context and shows how new laws can more justly regulate the electronic surveillance of employees by employers.
Catenacci, Christina, "Privacy and Surveillance in the Workplace: Closing the Electronic Surveillance Gap" (2020). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7117.
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