Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Is Big Brother Watching You At Work?

Your boss may be keeping a closer eye on you than you think! Employer surveillance of workers & property extends beyond the video screen. Your boss can now tell what Web sites you've visited on the office computers, the content of e-mail you haven't even sent yet, even your every move through cell phones equipped with GPS. And coming soon, employee identification through biometrics--measuring such biological components such as fingerprints & voice patterns.
This all leads to the unsuspecting employee to ask: What privacy rights do I have when it comes to electronic monitoring?? L. Camille Hebert, a law professor at Ohio State University & author of "Employee Privacy Law", says not very much!
Due to the computers being the property of the employers, they have the legal right to monitor e-mail & internet activity.
Such surveillance is on the rise because bosses can cite significant reasons for tracking worker activity, like monitoring can cut down on sexual harassment, workplace accidents, & goofing off. Plus, in lawsuits, courts expect employers to be able to hand over electronic evidence.
The use of video monitoring for theft, violence, & sabotage rose last year to 51% of 526 employers surveyed by the American Management Ass. & ePolicy Institute.
Keep this in mind people, they are watching, & nowadays what you read, look up on the internet, or e-mail can cause some ignorant jerk to report your ass to the '1984 Squad', AKA: the goverment.
Here are some interesting statisitics of employers monitoring employees in the following ways:

***Monitoring & reviewing Web sites visited: 76%

***Storing & reviewing e-mail messages: 55%

***Using smart-card technology to control building/data access: 53%

***Monitor time spent on phone & numbers called: 51%

***Using video surveillance to counter theft,violence,sabotage: 51%

***Saving & reviewing employee's computer files: 50%

***Monitoring time employee's spend on computer,content,keystrokes entered: 36%

***Taping employee phone conversations: 22%

***Using video surveillance to monitor performance: 16%

***Taping & reviewing voice mail messages: 15%

***Using GPS to monitor/track employee ID/smart cards: 8%

***Using fingerprint scans to control building/data access: 5%

***Using GPS to monitor/track cell phones: 5%

***Using iris scan technology to control building access: 0.5%