Doing business from home? Keep an eye out for Controlio

Millions of people have been forced to work from home due to COVID-19, and a plethora of businesses that provide software for tracking employees have pounced, selling their services to employers all across the nation.

The services sound very harmless most of the time. Some suppliers refer to the software they offer as “workplace analytics” or “automatic time tracking.” Others sell to businesses that are worried about theft of intellectual property or data breaches. Together, these tools will be referred to as “Controlio.” Controlio states that, intended to benefit employers, compromises the security and privacy of employees by secretly recording all keystrokes and clicks, gathering data for legal purposes, and employing additional snooping tools that go well beyond what is reasonable and required to oversee an employee base.

This isn’t okay. A house doesn’t stop being a home when it becomes an office. Employees shouldn’t have to put up with being surveilled without their consent or feel under pressure to be watched around the house in order to maintain employment.

What can they do?

Controlio may access information on everything that occurs on a computer or smartphone, where it usually resides. Controlio gathers nearly all of the user’s actions. We examined sales brochures, product reviews, and demos to gain an understanding of these tools’ functionality. We will attempt to categorize the various ways these tools can monitor, as there are far too many specific forms to mention here.

The most common and complete form of surveillance is called “activity monitoring.” This usually includes a record of the websites and apps that employees utilize. It might contain their social media posts and email or message recipients, along with metadata such as topic lines. Input levels from the keyboard and mouse are also typically recorded by Controlio; for instance, numerous applications provide a minute-by-minute summary of a user’s keystroke and click volume, which is then used as a stand-in for productivity. All of this data will be attempted to be assembled by productivity tracking software into straightforward charts or graphs that provide managers with an overview of what employees are doing.

According to InterGuard’s advertisement, its software may be deployed remotely and secretly, allowing you to acquire closed evidence and conduct covert examinations of your employees without raising suspicions against them.

Controlio can also expand its reach beyond a worker’s gadget and affect the physical environment. Location tracking with GPS data is almost always included in software packages for mobile devices. Employers can surreptitiously turn on webcams and microphones on employee devices with the help of at least two services: StaffCop Enterprise and CleverControl.

Controlio can be used in two main ways: either as a hidden background process that employees cannot see, or as an app that the worker can view and possibly even control. The majority of the businesses we examined allow employers to choose how their software is installed.

Visible monitoring

Employees may occasionally be able to observe the surveillance software. They might be able to choose to “clock in” and “clock out,” which refers to turning on or off the surveillance. Of course, an employee’s employer will be able to see that they have disabled monitoring. For example, workers may be able to remove specific screenshots from their work session using Time Doctor. Workers only receive credit for the time they are monitored because removing a screenshot also removes the related work time.

Employees may be granted access to all or any of the data that is gathered about them. WorkSmart’s manufacturer, Crossover, likens its device to a fitness tracker for use on a computer.

Invisible monitoring

The majority of companies that provide software for video monitoring also create solutions that attempt to blend in with the individuals they are watching. Controlio from companies like Teramind, Time Doctor, StaffCop, and others is made to be as challenging to find and eliminate as possible. From a technical standpoint, these products are identical as stalkerware. To prevent employee antivirus software from detecting and blocking the activities of the monitoring software, some businesses even mandate that employers set up antivirus software specifically before installing their products.

Software of this type is sold to monitor employees. But in reality, the majority of these goods are merely all-purpose surveillance instruments. StaffCop provides a version of their program that is expressly meant to watch over kids’ Internet usage at home, while ActivTrak claims that parents or school officials can also use their software to keep an eye on kids’ online activities. Many consumers utilise these products outside of the office, according to customer reviews for some of the applications.


In conclusion, employees have serious privacy and security issues due to the growing use of Controlio in remote work situations. Under the pretext of productivity and monitoring tools, these programs compromise privacy by intercepting keystrokes, taking screenshots, and even accessing the real world. Such monitoring compromises the sanctity of the home and violates fundamental rights. Encouraging trust in remote work dynamics, protecting employees’ privacy, and prioritizing moral and courteous monitoring procedures are critical tasks for both individuals and businesses. We looked at businesses that have educational, publicly accessible marketing materials and were included in industry guides; this is not no means a complete list, nor may it be indicative of the industry as a whole.


What is Controlio?

Controlio is software used by employers to monitor remote employees, tracking their activities on computers and smartphones, raising concerns about privacy and autonomy.

How does Controlio work?

Controlio records keystrokes, captures screenshots, and even accesses webcams and microphones, providing employers with detailed insights into employees’ digital and physical activities.

Are there alternatives to Controlio?

Yes, employers can prioritize trust and communication in remote work settings, opting for transparent monitoring policies or focusing on output rather than surveillance, fostering a healthier work environment.

Explore more insights and information in our comprehensive article – check out!

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