Surveillance and personal monitoring

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– Outline two pieces of information which could be collected by monitoring the activities of employees and how each piece of information could be collected.

* Length of time spent on telephone conversations monitored by software which records the telephone number and length of time.
* Amount of computer activity and use of the keyboard by software which records keystrokes.
* Surfing to sites which are unrelated to company matters by recording the URL of the site which the employee visited and the length of time on the site.
* The content of private e-mail messages read by the employer from the backup tape on the computer network.
* Viewing the content of the employee’s computer monitor at any time by using special software installed for this purpose.

Describe one advantage of employee monitoring for the employee and one advantage for the employer.

Advantage for the employee
* recorded evidence in instances where the employee has been working on task
* recorded evidence of reliable work for promotion purposes.
Advantage for the employer
* increased productivity of the employees
* ensuring company resources are used for the company purposes

Discuss three actions that an employer could take in implementing an employee monitoring system without causing the employees to feel that their privacy is invaded.

Answer may include:
* The employer can publish the company policy on employee monitoring.
* Clear company policies should be developed for using e-mail and Internet services.
* The employer can meet with employees to discuss any issues relating to employee monitoring.
* Information can be made available about what information is collected from monitoring processes
and what is stored.
* Employees can be made aware that company policies are consistent with existing laws.
* Information about organizations for the protection of employee privacy can be made available.

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