You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
At some companies, the IT department saves a copy of all staff e-mails and monitors web sites visited on the Internet.
Do you agree or disagree that companies should be permitted to do this?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is quite natural to assume that the privacy employees enjoy in their personal lives would extend to their jobs. But, regrettably, they have relatively few rights to privacy in the office. Monitoring and investigating has become a growing vogue. The companies monitor their employees’ online activities including the emails they sent or receive and the websites they visit during office time, pleading guard company information or it helps them to evaluate employees’ performance. However, I indeed disagree with the notions and my argument will pivot around the rights to privacy.
It has become quite easy that sensitive digital documents can be emailed to co-workers or superiors asking for critical business decision. But, unfortunately, it also offers the potential theft of those documents. Besides, the cutting-edge technologies make it increasingly simpler to transmit and transport digital information. Business may face security risks pertaining to file transferred through web email that can be loaded with spyware, malware, virus, and so on. On the top of that, the most worrisome threat is that employees may send company confidential information via email or over the Internet. Companies, therefore, monitors staff’s online activity so as to avoid potential threats. Apart from that, advances in technology make it easier evaluate employee performance. With the help of monitoring software, employers are able to collect information about the computer activity or inactivity of the employees. That is why, there is an increasing trend of monitoring employees’ online activities.
However, the employees ought to have the rights to privacy when using personal email account, even when the messages are sent at work. I believe that an employee’s personal, password protected email is none of the employer’s business. The same way companies should not be permitted to monitor the sites visited on the Internet. An example in point is a case sued by an employee. The employee suit the company for breach of contract. After the case was filed, the corporation looked through his computer to save all of his files. The files included the emails he sent through his private, password protected account. All the messages he sent had been automatically saved with the help of monitoring software. Some of the emails included conversations between the employee and his lawyer, which presented the evidence the organization seemed would help its case. After the company provided the court with the messages, the employee claimed his rights to privacy and lawyer-client privilege had been breached. The employer argued the employee had no such rights as its policy stated that anything done at the workplace could be monitored. But the court disagree and arrived at a verdict that the employee have to have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” due to the policy did not mention that messages sent using private account would be monitored or saved. Apart from that, privacy are now considered to be fundamental human right. So, no one or companies should not be allowed to make arbitrary interference in the employees’ privacy.
From what has been discussed above we may draw the conclusion that both views have their merits. Although, the companies’ concern is valid, the employees should not be subjected to interference with his privacy or correspondence.