Employee Privacy

Essay by sonta42University, Bachelor'sB+, November 2008

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To make a presumption of privacy in the workplace can be a naïve venture. The reality of the matter is that there are limits on employee privacy present in the workforce. Often, emails and phone calls, among other forms of communication, are closely monitored. While some may feel that this is a draconian invasion of privacy, such tactics are employed by businesses for the express purpose of protecting the businesses’ interests.

For example, if an employee was spending a great deal of company time on sending/checking emails, then the employee is essentially collecting a company salary while conducting personal business. Such downtime can cost a company an incredible amount of money over time. As such, it is not unreasonable for a company to monitor the frequency of its employee’s ‘extracurricular’ activities on the job.

New technologies make it possible for employers to monitor many aspects of their employees' jobs, especially on telephones, computer terminals, through electronic and voice mail, and when employees are using the Internet.

Such monitoring is virtually unregulated. Therefore, unless company policy specifically states otherwise (and even this is not assured), your employer may listen, watch and read most of your workplace communications. (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse)There is also a more ominous problem present with the subject of monitoring employee privacy. There is always a risk that trade secrets might be stolen (as was the recent case with a Coca-Cola Secretary committing criminal theft with the intent of selling secrets to Pepsi) This is why companies such as Vericept developed software designed to protect businesses as explained in the following excerpt:The Vericept 360ฐ Risk Management Platform was developed to provide 360ฐ visibility and control over a corporation's content for maximum protection over valuable informational assets. With years of experience studying and correlating human behavior, the Vericept Platform...