Australian Tax Office To Use Keystroke Logger On Employees… But Just To Stop Repetitive Stress Injuries

from the oh-really-now? dept

Slashdot points us to the news that the Australian Tax Office is seeking software to monitor keystrokes and mouse clicks of their employees — not to spy directly on what they’re doing, but in an attempt to learn about why their employees keep coming down with repetitive stress injuries. Apparently, the ATO’s insurance premiums were going way up because lots of employees were missing time due to such problems. Realizing this might look bad, the ATO is insisting that this will be “voluntary” (though, who’s going to volunteer for that?) and that it would only count keystrokes rather than record them. Either way, I can’t imagine most employees will be too excited about this.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Australian Tax Office To Use Keystroke Logger On Employees… But Just To Stop Repetitive Stress Injuries”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Peter Brett says:

Nothing to see here, move along please

I’ve been using tools to monitor my keyboard and mouse usage statistics since at least 2004 when I started getting symptoms of RSI. Workrave is excellent, I recommend it. Deploying this sort of software organisation-wide seems like a totally reasonable thing to do as part of a sensible workstation health and safety strategy.

I’m at a bit of a loss as to how this constitutes a horrible breach of employee privacy, Mike. Maybe I’m just not wearing the right tin-foil hat (and I have a pretty sweet one, you should check it out).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Nothing to see here, move along please

Yeah, I often agree with Mike, but I think he’s going a bit overboard here. This seems reasonable, and, as you said, there is already some software that fit ATO’s needs.

Besides, what kind of “horrible privacy breach” can a keylogger achieve in a work environment (unless your employees are actually doing something else other than work)?

One last point, if they WERE going to spy on their employees, why would they shout out to the world that they would do so? Why not silently stick a keylogger into every PC and call it good?

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Nothing to see here, move along please

ehhh, i figure it’s a reasonable, possibly good, idea… with a lot of potentual for abuse. one of those ‘let’s see if it pans out and hope it’s worth the risk’ things that i’d have no problem doing if i were running the place… but would be rather dubious about if i were an employee and didn’t know the boss, personally, to not be the sort to abuse such…

Crash says:

To me, it seems there doing this for the correct reasons, and by the correct method by allowing employees to volunteer. I need to use horrible inefficent software (when it comes to clicks/keystrokes) daily and would love if my company took interest in this. Hopefully they will use the data to help improve/streamline the software they use.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...