Can I have some private time?

Following up on my posts from last week around workplace privacy. I was reading a similar post from Michael Fitzgibbon (Thoughts from a Management Lawyer) on the whole issue of Workplace Privacy in the US.

Of interest were the statistics which while are US centric I have a feeling probably would transpose fairly well to any industrialised nation.

Employees need to realise what they do does have an impact on their employer and as such the employer might have an interest in these activities. However on the flip side is that employers need to also realise that employees have the right to privacy.

Personally I do not see any need for human reading of emails, there are enough tools out there to track what is going through the ether and stop the viruses and inappropriate attachments (there is even a patent registered on the automated detection of pornographic images). Systems can also track where the emails are going and the amount of network traffic being generated by a specific user on the network. What these tools cannot track or stop is the dissemination of proprietary information, they never will. Both sides of the fence need to come to an understanding, through education, as to what can and can’t be done.

A question does your organisation run specific information/training courses on acceptable use of the internet in the workplace? Probably not, however maybe they should. In the same way as employees have to go through health and safety or sexual harassment training maybe the same needs to be done on the internet?