In a decision published on January 6, 2015, the French data protection authority (the “CNIL”) adopted a new Simplified Norm NS 47 (the “Simplified Norm”) that addresses the processing of personal data in connection with monitoring and recording employee telephone calls in the workplace. Data processing operations in compliance with all of the requirements set forth in the Simplified Norm may be registered with the CNIL through a simplified registration procedure. If the processing does not comply with the Simplified Norm, however, a standard registration form must be filed with the CNIL. The Simplified Norm includes the following requirements:

Scope of the Simplified Norm

Only data processing operations that involve monitoring and recording employee telephone calls on a periodic basis are within the scope of the Simplified Norm. If employee telephone calls are recorded on a permanent or systematic basis, the data processing may not benefit from the simplified registration procedure. Further, the monitoring and recording of telephone calls may not be implemented by any public or private organization whose tasks consist of collecting sensitive personal data. Audiovisual recordings also are excluded from the scope of the Simplified Norm.

Purposes of the Data Processing

In order to benefit from the Simplified Norm, organizations may only listen to and record employee telephone calls for one or more of the following purposes: employee training, employee performance and improvement in the quality of the service.

The other requirements of the Simplified Norm relate to the types of personal data collected and processed, the recipients of the data, the data retention periods, the information to be provided to employees and call participants, the security measures to be implemented, and the rules to be observed in case of data transfers outside of the European Union. This Simplified Norm will help reduce the formalities linked to the registration process with the CNIL and serve as useful guidance for companies wishing to monitor or record their employees’ telephone calls.