Employee Privacy Rights In The Workplace Essay

Monitoring In Workplace Essay

Electronic communications such as e-mail and the internet improve employee productivity and efficiency. It is no wonder that according to Andrew Schulman the author of ?The Extent of Systematic Monitory of Employee E-mail and Internet Use, as many as 40 million American workers, which is nearly 1/3 of the entire United States workforce, have Internet and / or e-mail access at work.? In addition, according to the annual American Management Association survey of ?Workplace Monitoring & Surveillance? there are ?more than three-quarters of major U.S. firm record and review employee communication and activities on the job, including their phone calls, e-mail, Internet connection, and computer files.? The issues of monitoring have been heavily argued due to cases where employees have lost their jobs as a result of companies? monitoring their usage of e-mail and internet access Thesis: Although I strongly believe that our privacy is very important, there are situations when it needs to be given up for greater reasons. For example, in order to gain security in airports everyone needs to give up some of their privacy. Can you imagine an airport without any metal detectors, or without a bag x-ray? It would be a disaster, right? By letting someone see what is in your bags, what you are going to carry on the plane, and now even what is in your shoes, may prevent many things such as September 11th from reoccurring. How about in the workplace? Can you give up some of your privacy for greater reasons? This issue may be irrelevant to us right now but it will prove to be an important factor in our lives in the near future as we will be working ourselves. As of right now, according to the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the employer has the right to monitor all e-mail traffic and Internet surfing that occurs in the company. Even though many people argue against such actions, I believe that the company should always have the right to monitor its employees.

I. The main conflict between employers and employees is about privacy. Workers feel that their privacy has been invaded and are concerned about what companies do with the information they gather through monitoring. They believe that in the workplace, their privacy should not be violated under their right of the fourth amendment, which simply states that it?s not legal to search and secure information without probable cause.

A. Just like the airport, there are times when privacy needs to be given up for greater reasons. And there are many reasons why the company should have the right to monitor e-mail and Internet usage by employees. For example, workers get paid to do their jobs not to conduct any private activities using company resources.

B. Cyber slackers cause...

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Employee Monitoring Essay

Introduction
In 1949, George Orwell wrote the book titled ‘Nineteen Eighty- four’, which first put forth the idea of an omniscient government that could see and hear every action and word that its people undertook. Little did Orwell know- or perhaps he did know- that such an idea would, today, be a reality. Satellites can identify and follow any person on the face of this Earth. The content of our very thoughts and intended actions can be made known by what we post on the internet, which is analysed by people working in IT companies like Apple and Google, and even analysts in the defense sectors of governments. Proof of this is seen in the fact that advertisements, which pop up while we are logged into our email accounts, are related to the content of our most recently sent emails. Send a friend an email telling them that you are going for a holiday to Goa and immediately, pop ups relating to resorts and tourist sites in Goa, will appear. ‘Big Brother is Watching You’ literally epitomizes this idea in shows like ‘Big Boss’ and ‘Big Brother’ where a bunch of people are monitored via audio and video equipment, with their consent of course. For the purpose of this essay, we look at the concept of monitoring in the context of the organization, the ways in which it is carried out, the manner and purposes for which it is used, the negative effects of such monitoring, and the optimal way in which it can be carried on so as to diminish these negative effects .
What is it?
Employee monitoring or workplace monitoring involves viewing, recording and reporting what employees do in the workplace (Frayer, 2002). At first, it was carried on through supervisory overview, wherein the supervisor simply observed what the employee did and how he did his job, and made a record of it for later reference. However, with the move from the Industrial Age to the Information and Internet Age (Hart, 2000), employees came to depend on computers and technology to do their jobs, and so did their employers, who started using technology to monitor them.
How do we do it?
Several software and hardware applications are being used by employers, with prices ranging from thousands of dollars to absolutely free (also called freeware). ExtraSpy Employee Monitor is an example of such software. Most software presents a record of activities in the form of graphs that are easy to read. Also, certain types of software provide a setting to alert the employer when the employee undertakes specific, selected types of activities. 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.
1. Email and Internet Monitoring: Incoming and outgoing emails pass through a filtering software to search for any content that violates the company’s policies. The software identifies suspicious emails which are then reviewed by a person who...

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