Beware! Staff using mobile phones

Do you recognise the following conversation?:

“I met with X to discuss an on-going employment issue (insert grievance/ disciplinary etc as applicable).  I noticed during our conversation that (s)he had their phone out on the table for the duration of our 10 minute conversation.   I’m concerned as I think (s)he might have been recording our conversation”. 

The first time I heard this, I too was concerned.  Covert recording of conversations isn’t acceptable in today’s workplace.   I didn’t have any knowledge or details of Employee X, so I had no opinion as to whether or not they would behave in such an inappropriate way.

But since that first conversation a couple of months ago, I have had similar conversations with a number of different HR colleagues working in different organisations across a diverse range of sectors.   

Where has this paranoia come from?  

Is this a new trend within the HR profession? 

Is it a real threat or have we, as a profession, become that cynical?

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