A BLACKBURN firm has seen order enquires double after finding itself at the centre of a privacy storm at a national newspaper.

Cad-Capture hit the headlines this week after journalists at the Daily Telegraph newspaper in London discovered that managers had installed monitoring devices under their desks to record how often they are used.


The National Union of Journalists criticised the paper for carrying out 'surveillance' on its reporters.

Management at the paper's HQ have now said that the devices, which contain monitor heat and motion sensors, will be removed following the backlash.

The Accrington Road company however has said that if managers had explained the purpose of the devices to employees then there would not have been a negative reaction.

Simon Watts, chief executive and founder, said: "Before this case we have had a 100 per cent record of positive customers who have used the OccupEye system.

"I can only think that the employees were not told enough information about the devices and that caused the reaction.

"It's not about monitoring people, it's about seeing how often a work space is used.

"In London the cost of a work space is very high and these devices are designed to help companies save money by downsizing their space if need be.

"You could, potentially, use it to monitor people, but that is not what the system is designed for and that's not what companies buy it for."

The devices were invited by Cad-Capture, which has 30 employees in Blackburn, and have been supplied to the 'highest level of central government' along with the NHS, councils and universities.

Mr Watts said: "Since this story came out our order enquiries have doubled which is great for us.

"We have had a lot of positive feedback and I can see this product continuing to be popular."

The NUJ’s assistant general secretary, Seamus Dooley, said that monitoring had no place in the office.

He said: "Employers must adhere to strict rules governing the collection of data in the workplace.

"Workers have very strong privacy rights and these must be protected. The right to be consulted on new procedures governing such data is enshrined in law.

"The NUJ will resist Big Brother-style surveillance in the newsroom."