Computerworld reports on the issue of employee privacy in the workplace.
As corporate functions, including voice and video, converge onto IP-based networks, more corporate infractions are happening online. Employees leak intellectual property or trade secrets, either on purpose or inadvertently; violate laws against sexual harassment or child pornography; and waste time while looking like they are hard at work.
In response — spurred in part by stricter regulatory, legal and compliance requirements — organizations are not only filtering and blocking Web sites and scanning e-mail. Many are also watching what employees post on social networks and blogs, even if it’s done from home using noncompany equipment.
They are collecting and retaining mobile phone calls and text messages. They can even track employees’ physical locations using the GPS feature on smartphones.
More often that not, IT workers are the ones being asked to do the digital dirty work, primarily because they’re the people with the technical know-how to get the job done, says Nancy Flynn, executive director of the ePolicy Institute. […]
Yet most IT professionals never expected they’d be asked to police their colleagues and co-workers in quite this way. How do they feel about this growing responsibility?
[Michael Workman, an associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology,] says he sees a split among tech workers. Those who specialize in security issues feel that it’s a valid part of IT’s job. But those who have more of a generalist’s role, such as network administrators, often don’t like it.