The clip comes from a user named Jennifer Brick (@jenniferbrick), who runs a channel dedicated to career tips and advice. On May 24, Brick uploaded a video showing how simple it is for employers to spy on their employees’ workday activities.
Her video shows how easily companies can implement tracking software that monitors productivity, time management, frequently used apps and more. As she points out, some of the programs, like ActivTrak are even available for free.
The video, which drew frustrated responses from many viewers, is just the latest TikTok to spark debates about employer-employee dynamics.
In April, a business owner went viral for explaining how she’s attempting to counter wage disparities by paying all of her employees — including herself — the same salary. In another, a millennial boss showed how differently his Gen Z employees speak through email.
Brick’s video goes on to show how programs like ActivTrak can rank individual employees based on their productivity. She then shares that certain monitoring software can track a person’s most-visited websites and take screenshots of their browser tabs. In some cases, they can even take screenshots of a person’s face during a video call.
“Tell me that’s not creepy,” she says.
In a series of follow-up videos, Brick explains some of her tips for discovering and dealing with these programs. In one clip, she showed an easy way to see if your work computer already has monitoring software on it.
As Brick states in a subsequent video, it’s difficult to delete this software for a number of technical, or maybe even legal, reasons. Instead, she recommends a few tools — such as a webcam cover, or a “mouse jiggler,” which increases your productivity score by keeping your computer from going to sleep.
Commenters were grateful for Brick’s advice, although many also seemed freaked out.
“New fear unlocked,” one user wrote.
“This can’t be legal,” another added.
Others chimed in with a singular piece of advice: Don’t use your work computer for non-work activities.
‘This is why you never use work equipment for anything other than work,” one user wrote.