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Barclays Probed by U.K. Watchdog for Monitoring Staff

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 8/9/2020 Eduard Gismatullin
a sign on the side of a building: A red double-decker bus passes a Barclays Plc bank branch in London, U.K., on Monday, July 27, 2020. The Treasury is in talks with the U.K.'s largest banks about a plan to tackle billions of pounds of bad debts expected under the government's Coronavirus loans program for small businesses, the Financial Times reported. © Bloomberg A red double-decker bus passes a Barclays Plc bank branch in London, U.K., on Monday, July 27, 2020. The Treasury is in talks with the U.K.'s largest banks about a plan to tackle billions of pounds of bad debts expected under the government's Coronavirus loans program for small businesses, the Financial Times reported.

(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc is being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office, a privacy watchdog, on allegations it spied on its workers through a computer monitoring software, the Telegraph reported.

A spokesman from the Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed the probe to the paper, but couldn’t say when it will conclude. The Telegraph said Barclays faces a maximum fine of 865 million pounds ($1.1 billion) if it’s found to have broken data privacy laws.

The software allowed managers to measure the length of time employees were away from their desks or how long they took to finish tasks, the newspaper said. The bank used the system from Sapience Analytics to study workers anonymously for 18 months, and switched on additional functions in February that allowed managers to pick out individuals, the report said.

After protests from employees in February, the bank stopped the individual monitoring later that month, and informed the Information Commissioner’s Office of its actions, according to the report.

Barclays declined to comment to the Telegraph.

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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