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Switch to Forum Live View Big Brother is watching you work
4 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 1:03PM #1
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

 


Where is the line between making sure people aren't goofing off vs. invading workers' privacy?


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4 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 2:55PM #2
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244

It's amazing how many folk on the political right bemoan the big brother of government, but completely ignore the "big brother" aspect of multinational corporations. In the name of employee security, marketing and advertising, private corporations probably know more about our daily transactions than government does. 


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 2:56PM #3
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,393

We're looking into this issue at the small not-for-profit I work at. Now that I'm running a Facebook page for our organization, the operations dept is concerned that it will give other employees an excuse to log into Facebook. We don't have the staff to monitor emails and we can't yet afford a computer monitoring system, but they're looking at options. Nothing done on a company computer or a company phone is "private."

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4 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 10:23PM #4
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

The job I have now is manual labor, so computer use isn't even an issue. I will admit, however, that in past office jobs I would sometimes goof off on the company computer. Nothing too serious, just mostly e-mail or IMs to friends. But I still felt badly about it.


It's not right, IMO, and if/when I get into another white collar job, I'll avoid doing it to keep my concience clear.


So, yes, a company has the same right to expect employees to use company phones and computers only for work -- just as they should expect an employee to not take a company car on family vacation. But, I'm also not sure how comfortable I feel with everything everybody does being monitored all the time. It's a bit of a quandry, IMO.

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4 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 10:26PM #5
rangerken
Posts: 16,408

If you're working on an assembly line, using company owned tools, the company has every right to insist that you use the tools properly and that during work hous, you work. The exact, same thing is true if you are working on some company's computer. I see no difference.


Ken

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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4 years ago  ::  May 24, 2010 - 8:37AM #6
TemplarS
Posts: 6,868

Ah, Rangerken, you are perfectly correct; but you (and I) belong to a different generation.  People entering the work force now are so used to these "personal" computer uses that to severely restrict them would mean you'd have to fire everybody, because for the kids doing this is second nature, like talking to you and me.


Most companies (mine included) are reasonable in practice (though they will still quote you the absolute line about "no personal computer use").  What crosses the line are things like: excessive use in terms of time; pornography or harrassment; revealing company trade secrets or confidential info; running a side business; and so on.


But employees must also understand that using company resources carries no presumption of confidentiality.

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4 years ago  ::  May 24, 2010 - 10:13AM #7
rangerken
Posts: 16,408

No argument about the generation bit, Templar...at 66 I certainly do see things a bit differently from my 30+ year old grown up children. I do see your point.


Well then, if I was a corporate CEO I'd tell my employees the corporate version of what I told new teachers joining my Science Department when I was a High School Science Department head... "You may use your school computer for personal things in your off time, BUT... anything you do on it is saved on the District system, and subject to being reviewed by the Principal." Even with that warning, we still on occasion found a teacher doing something really stupid on a school machine. Two actually had to be fired due to stupidity on line while I was working... fortunately, none of my own people...only because Biology, Chemistry and Physics people are naturally superior individuals of course!!!!!... right???


Ken

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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4 years ago  ::  May 24, 2010 - 12:35PM #8
TemplarS
Posts: 6,868

There is a flip side to all this high-tech stuff, which should make the on-the-job browsing more palatable to the bosses.  Things like blackberriesand remote access to company networks means that many employees are now available 24-7.  The hours I lose doing personal stuff on the computer at work are more than made up for by the times I sit at home with my laptop, doing company business.

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4 years ago  ::  May 24, 2010 - 12:37PM #9
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,393

May 24, 2010 -- 12:35PM, TemplarS wrote:


There is a flip side to all this high-tech stuff, which should make the on-the-job browsing more palatable to the bosses.  Things like blackberriesand remote access to company networks means that many employees are now available 24-7.  The hours I lose doing personal stuff on the computer at work are more than made up for by the times I sit at home with my laptop, doing company business.




I agree with this and it's a delicate balance. Our organization is looking into this as well. I have a company paid for smartphone. It's very normal for me to check email while sitting at home or before going to bed or even while on vacation simply because it's right there in front of me.

"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
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4 years ago  ::  May 24, 2010 - 1:04PM #10
Erey
Posts: 18,940

If your employer provides you the equipment they have every right to make sure you are using it correctly.  Although, I dont think spending alot of time monitoring your employees is a good use of resources


I would recomend everyone get a web based email like Yahoo or Hotmail and if you have any personal messages to not get them on your work email but rather your personal email. 

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