April 15th, 2003, 05:32 AM
Cyber Surveillance in workplace?
I'm writing a term paper on Cyber Surveillance in workplace for one of my classes. I'm having some tough time with employee rights and some laws that are up to date that could protect an employee from the little brother.Does anyone know any links to reference material or documents that could help me out?
April 15th, 2003, 02:04 PM
The problem you'll run in to is that each state in the US handles these cases differently... it also depends on whether or not the employee signed an "acceptable use" document, which grants the employer complete rights to monitor the user's activities -- almost EVERY sizeable company requires this, and they stand up in court.
April 15th, 2003, 02:22 PM
These might help:
http://www.aclu.org and specifically, http://www.aclu.org/WorkplaceRights/...RightsMain.cfm
Again, as Sodaphish stated, it is a question of state laws in regards to technology. However, if the company has a security policy and/or acceptable use policy AND has the employee sign that they agree and understand that all items belong to the company -- email, data stream, data, etc -- there are some rights (not all) that are given up. One case suggested that all emails to the company became company policy (I think that was a NY Upper Court ruling but I don't specifically remember).
Is your paper specific to Iowa or are you thinking nationally? internationally?
Not all security policy/acceptable user policies stand up in court. There was one (can't find it for the life of me) where the policy said some thing to the effect that "the company will prevent access to porn sites, etc.". Something like that. One employee, a woman, got "caught" surfing porn and fired. She turned around and sued -- and won. The reason? The company didn't prevent the viewing of the porn. Poorly written policies or misworded ones tend to be shot down. In addition, any policy that violates local, state/provincial or federal laws could also be tossed out.
it also depends on whether or not the employee signed an "acceptable use" document, which grants the employer complete rights to monitor the user's activities -- almost EVERY sizeable company requires this, and they stand up in court.
April 15th, 2003, 02:23 PM
Like Sodaphish said, it all depends on the company's acceptable use policy. The laws don't limit what the company can survey, unless it somehow violates your state or federal constitutional rights. However, this document needs to be made public to the employees. The employees must be informed of the types of surveillance taking place. They also have to tell you what is and is not acceptable computer use.
What it boils down to: You working there says that you agree to their policies, whether you are completely familiar with them or not. If you choose to violate a policy, which they happen to monitor and you get canned, there is usually no legal action you can take against the company with regards to wrongful discharge, etc.
Hope that was helpful. I'm very tired today.
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April 15th, 2003, 03:46 PM
Well I would like to look for some laws in iowa, Since I do have to give a speech aswell I would like to inform the audience of some of the state legislation that could help protect an employee. But for some good reference material I'm willing to include federal laws maybe laws in other countries. I've been doing alot of research the ACLU seems to play in active part in the internet world today. Thanks for the links.