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Privacy Report: Are You Being Watched?

For many people privacy is a constitutional right, not a privilege. Bill Maher, a social and political commentator, stated that “I thought that privacy was something we were granted in the Constitution; I have learned from this when in fact the word privacy does not appear in the Constitution.” If the Constitution does not protect the privacy of citizens, then people are susceptible to being surveillance at all times, even during work. In fact, the technological era has provided businesses with many benefits. For instance, with the implementation of the Internet and e-mails, businesses are more global, productive, and efficient. With the benefits associated with technologies, businesses are obligated to protect their assets. Not only must these entities protect their technological investments, but also the investments in their employees. In addition, majority of employers monitor their employees because of concerns over litigation, and the increasing role that electronic evidence plays in lawsuits and government agency investigations, etc.

With this in mind, many businesses have incorporated policies pertaining to e-mail use, Internet use, and privacy policies for employees. E-mails from employees are monitored at all times because of intellectual property concerns. Safeguarding intellectual property is important for the firm because this information is what differentiates them from our competitors. If the intellectual property were in the wrong hands, the organization would lose its’ competitive advantage. In addition to monitoring the e-mail use of employees, organizations also monitors the Internet use of employees. For instance, the firm uses “cookies” as part of the monitoring process for Internet use. Cookies are small pieces of information sent by a web server to store on a web browser so it can later be read back from that browser. By doing so, organizations could ensure that employees are using the Internet for work related purposes, instead of using the Internet for personal reasons.

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