International application of laws can sometimes create odd situations. A computer programmer in the Netherlands sued a former employer in the US for $75,000 after it came out that he was fired for not leaving his webcam on during his entire shift. Unlike the government overreach against Winston Smith in 1984, however, the Dutch courts ruled that “Instruction to leave the camera on is contrary to the employee’s right to respect for his private life.” This is not likely the last we will hear of employer overreach, but it does feel good for the moment that there are some voices of reason in the world courts.

People use all sorts of things to cover their webcams while working: tape, Post-It Notes, their strained thumb, whatever’s handy. One fired worker can now use $75,000 in cash. It might be hard to balance it up there, though.