The District of Saanich is ending its use of Spector 360, an employee monitoring program installed on several computers that was the catalyst for an investigation by the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner.
A statement provided to the News by interim CAO Andy Laidlaw confirmed “the District will not be using the program again”. Laidlaw said he will act on any recommendations made by the privacy commissioner in a report expected later this month.
The municipality incurred expenses totalling $2,199 (U.S. dollars) for the software, and did not make payments on licencing and maintenance invoices of $29,250 and $43,992 dated Jan. 14 and sent by SpectorSoft, the U.S.-based company that sells Spector 360, Laidlaw added.
Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell went public about his concerns over the “spyware” on Jan. 12. Atwell said the Spector 360 software had been installed on his computer last December and several other computers without his knowledge or consent. Freedom of Information documents show Laura Ciarniello, director of corporate services, authorized Saanich’s IT department to install the software on an unknown number of District computers on Dec. 2, the day after Atwell and council were sworn in.
The privacy commissioner said previously her office will complete its investigation by the end of March.