Watching Workers: Where's The Line?
Counting keystrokes might be called for in a data entry context. But tracing the location of a company-issued smartphone during a worker's off-hours isn't going to fly.
Employers may be within their rights to monitor workers, but those rights have limits and repercussions. Employers often find that watching workers is necessary, but they need to watch their step as they do so.
The issue surfaced at Harvard University recently after revelations that administrators searched 16 faculty email accounts last fall to find the source of leaks to the media about a prior cheating scandal.
Harvard sociology professor Mary C. Waters told The New York Times , "I think what the administration did was creepy," she reportedly said, adding, "this action violates the trust I once had that Harvard would never do such a thing."
There's something charmingly naive about Prof. Walters' indignation, given that computers are instruments of self-surveillance and that those with the power to search through other people's data have shown little willingness to deny themselves that capability.... Read full story on InformationWeek
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