Proposal / Submission Type

Peer Reviewed Paper

Location

Arlington, Virginia

Abstract

When considering the legal implications of monitoring and surveillance in the workplace, the question may be asked why companies deploy computer surveillance and monitoring in the first place. Several reasons may be put forward to justify why more than 80% of all major American firms monitor employee e-mails and Internet usage. However, what most companies forget is the fact that the absence or presence of monitoring and surveillance activities in a company holds serious legal consequences for companies. From the discussion in this paper it will become apparent that there is a vast difference in how most countries approach this subject matter. On the one hand America does not afford any employee a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to the use of corporate computer resources and systems, while in contrast to this position the United Kingdom goes out of its way to protect each employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy. This paper will not only investigate the different approaches followed by some of the world-leader, but will also investigate the legal consequences embedded in each approach. This paper will ultimately enable the reader to judge for himself/herself which approach his/her country should follow while being fully informed of the legal consequences attached to the chosen approach.

Keywords: information security, legal issues, monitoring and surveillance, privacy

Comments

Session Chair: David Biros

 

Monitoring and Surveillance in the Workplace: Lessons Learnt? – Investigating the International Legal Position

Arlington, Virginia

When considering the legal implications of monitoring and surveillance in the workplace, the question may be asked why companies deploy computer surveillance and monitoring in the first place. Several reasons may be put forward to justify why more than 80% of all major American firms monitor employee e-mails and Internet usage. However, what most companies forget is the fact that the absence or presence of monitoring and surveillance activities in a company holds serious legal consequences for companies. From the discussion in this paper it will become apparent that there is a vast difference in how most countries approach this subject matter. On the one hand America does not afford any employee a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to the use of corporate computer resources and systems, while in contrast to this position the United Kingdom goes out of its way to protect each employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy. This paper will not only investigate the different approaches followed by some of the world-leader, but will also investigate the legal consequences embedded in each approach. This paper will ultimately enable the reader to judge for himself/herself which approach his/her country should follow while being fully informed of the legal consequences attached to the chosen approach.

Keywords: information security, legal issues, monitoring and surveillance, privacy