Electronic Surveillance of Employees

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Date Submitted: 08/28/2011 06:28 PM

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23rd January, 2011

1. Explain where the employee can reasonable expect to have privacy on the workplace.

In this age of technology where we live at, there is no secure place on the workplace where any employee can expect some sort of privacy. Most of corporate America monitors all IT systems, have 24/7 video surveillance on premises and outside premises (corporate perimeter), monitor phone calls, and human resources departments continuously monitor employee’s behavior.

It has become a norm that before an employee starts a new position on a company he or she has to read and sign a series of policies related to monitoring of IT systems, phones, and business related activities, by signing these documents the employee basically gives up his ECPA (Electronic communication privacy act - 1986) protection and provide al rights to the company to monitor every single business related activity conducted by the employee.

The ECPA also allows employers to listen in on communications made in the “ordinary course of business”. In other words, where business interest such as efficiency or legal liability is at stake, the surveillance will be allowed.

2. In the office workplace there are typically two types of workspaces, an open area, in which there are several desks and where conversations can be overhead, or an enclosed office, in which—when the door is closed—conversations cannot be heard and where one would expect virtually total privacy. Explain whether it makes a difference if an employee is in an open area or in an enclosed office.

It does make a difference if the employee is in an open area or in an enclosed office. In an open area there is no privacy at all, all your conversations and interactions with the customers or co-workers can be overheard by other employees or customers. An open area does not provide any type of privacy at all.

In an enclosed office there is some sort of privacy if there is no some kind...