Read the municipal employer surveillance rules below to make sure you’re not crossing any lines.

Surveillance is a common feature in today’s world. Governments watch people, corporations watch people, and people watch people. Hence, somewhere someone crosses a line.

Video Surveillance

In Ontario, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada enforces the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, legislation relating to privacy in the workplace. However, there is currently no dedicated provincial law around this. 

The Act dictates how an employer will collect, use, and disclose personal information in the private sector. It says, employers may record video in the workplace if circumstances are reasonable. In addition, if employees have been notified. Make sure you define what reasonable means. It has to satisfy conditions of organization safety and security. 

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Recording Audio

The Act has less tolerance for audio recording. Generally speaking, employers cannot record private conversations between employees. It’s a violation of section 184 of the Criminal Code. Therefore, make sure the audio feature is disabled in cameras recording office space activities.


It can be tricky safeguarding privacy when using surveillance cameras. Hence, employees shouldn’t expect any privacy in public areas, such as lobbies, reception desk or registers. In these spaces, it’s easier for municipal employers to justify surveillance. Clearly and conspicuously display a notice of surveillance for everyone walking into the building to be able to see. This doesn’t necessarily free a municipal employer of their responsibility to explain and define their rules around surveillance.

Here are some unreasonable surveillance spots: bathrooms, change rooms, and personal offices. These are office spaces where employees expect and deserve privacy. It’s difficult for employers to justify the need for surveillance in these areas, especially if a complaint becomes a court case.

Hence, follow these municipal employer surveillance rules for making sure everyone is protected.