Man alleges ex-employer ‘tapped’ his personal information

Patrick Trane was employed by Cubic Telecom which denies his rights were breached

A man has claimed his former employer breached his privacy rights by allegedly “tapping” his personal and family information on his company-supplied laptop.

He claims the firm used a software surveillance programme called “StaffCop” to monitor him.

Patrick Trane, from France, was employed by Cubic Telecom, a south Dublin based telecommunications technology firm, until he resigned. He is now working for another company.

Cubic brought proceedings against him and three companies, Simulity Systems, Simulty Labs and Card Centric, seeking to prevent him using information obtained as part of his employment while he had counter-sued claiming his privacy rights were breached.

Mr Trane in turn has brought proceedings against Cubic alleging that surveillance by the company of his personal information during his employment breached various rights, including his right to privacy under the Constitution and his right to a private family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

He says those rights derive from his contract of employment.

The court heard, apart from work-related information, the laptop contained other information including about his personal business outside work, banking and childrens’ schools.

Cubic says Mr Trane was using a company laptop and its use was part of his contract of employment.

It denies any rights have been breached and also pleads, even if he even enjoys such rights, he was using the laptop for illegitimate purposes conducting non-Cubic business during company hours.

As part of proceedings, the High Court was asked by both sides to order discovery of material relevant to the dispute so they can be fully prepared for trial. Both sides opposed each other's applications.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy ordered both parties to make discovery in relation to a number of categories of documents but he limited the extent of that discovery in both cases.

He also ordered Mr Trane to provide further and better particulars in relation to his statement of claim against Cubic which claimed it needed them in order to fully defend his action.