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Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
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shjacks55
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shjacks55,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/26/2013 | 2:12:34 AM
re: Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Dan Gilreath
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Dan Gilreath,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2013 | 7:45:00 PM
re: Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
Another Monitoring solution out there is Praetorian Guard. www.Praetorianguard.net
Tony A
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Tony A,
User Rank: Strategist
3/19/2013 | 10:38:34 PM
re: Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
@Drew - If I use an employer-provided telephone to call my wife should I have an expectation that there's a wiretap on the line? Employers may have legitimate business needs in monitoring any form of communication "for quality assurance" or other purposes. Selective and well-publicized monitoring of particular aspects of the workplace could be legitimate. A blanket license for employers to pry into every communication that goes through their systems is dangerous - a slippery slope that puts in question whether anyone has any right to privacy. The same arguments can be applied to video monitoring in the street. The state has a legitimate concern to protect public safety but does not have a right to conduct unlimited surveillance on citizens in public places. These rights have deteriorated seriously and I agree with the author of the article that the juggernaut against the 4th amendment has to be resisted.
rjones2818
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rjones2818,
User Rank: Strategist
3/19/2013 | 2:59:59 PM
re: Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
Drew,

How far are you willing to go on that? I believe it was in one of your family of newsletters which talked about companies expecting their workers to chat up the company on the worker's social media accounts. In my neck of the woods, one of our local television stations did a special report on businesses which were demanding that their workers turn over the passwords to their Facebook and other social media accounts. Where does it stop? If workers are happy to turn over any idea of privacy in the workplace, then that is what they deserve to have happen to them. You seem to have already assumed a surrender on that.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
3/19/2013 | 12:17:57 AM
re: Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
It seems to me that if you're using employer-provided computers and applications, you shouldn't have an expectation of privacy. That said, I think employers are probably better served by taking a light touch with the power they have over employees, and, where feasible, giving employees warning when they're going to actively search mailboxes and other data stores.

Drew Conry-Murray
Editor, Network Computing
edyang
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edyang,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2013 | 10:53:07 PM
re: Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
There's monitoring and there's monitoring. Thomas is correct that some forms of monitoring won't do a whit to improve management. The irony is that even though most employees realize "privacy" is all relative when it comes to the workplace, they still have the illusion and desire for some. There are tools out there that can strike the right balance between monitoring and privacy, most notably MySammy (http://www.mysammy.com). It gathers just the minimum amount of data necessary to report on employee computer activity, for example, just gathering the website title tag and URL not privy to what exactly is going on on the screen. It also provides employees with the option to stop collecting data if they are on a break or off-work hours and want to use the computer for their own personal use. It's a fine line to walk, but it can be done.
rjones2818
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rjones2818,
User Rank: Strategist
3/18/2013 | 10:28:29 PM
re: Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
The bosses will go as far as workers will allow them to go. The mouthpieces for the bosses will denigrate people who don't accept the inevitability of worker surveillance, and in doing so sell out workers to the bosses. The wheel continues to spin until the workers decide to stop it from doing so.


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