The Integrity News
Vol. XII No. 17
May 20, 2003
May 12, 2003 (pgs. 28-31)
"We will be watching every key they
type, every link they click" --- from the
advertisement of a popular workstation
Unfortunately, every new technology seems to
be misused. Internet-connected workstations
have done the most in recent years to increase
company productivity and keep costs down.
"Being nosy can be good for business. Although
workplace privacy is a hot-button issue for many
unions and employee rights groups, there are many
legitimate reasons for an organization to want to
know what's happening on its computers."
"From industrial espionage, to sabotage, and
workplace harassment suits, it's not hard to
understand the strong financial incentives for
keeping tabs on employees' workstations."
"The statistics can be frightening. According to
a national market research firm, 30-40 % of
Internet activity at work is not work-related.
Seventy percent of all Internet pornography
views occur during work hours."
"There are various reasons for businesses to
restrict non-business Internet use, ranging from
productivity concerns to workplace liability issues.
So, businesses are placing limits on how their
employees use the Internet."
"The American Management Association says
that more than 75% of U.S. businesses monitor
their employees' Internet use, phone calls,
correspondence, and activity. Email is stored
by 47% of companies for later review."
"For most companies, the question isn't whether
to monitor employee activity, but how best to go
about it. Courts have repeatedly ruled that
companies have the right to monitor employee
activities while they're at work."
"Many companies have found that establishing
alerts based on keywords or particular behavior
patterns is the most cost-effective way to monitor
activity. When an employee types a word or
address that has been flagged as suspicious, the
IT staff is alerted and full-scale monitoring may
ensue. This appears to be a cost-effective way
to minimize exposure to Internet misuse."
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productivity, drugs, or other workplace issues is a
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