Is Workplace Privacy a Thing of the Past?

Is Workplace Privacy a Thing of the Past?

Give a quick look at many recent headlines and there’s no question privacy is in short supply these days. One of the latest stories involves allegations that the National Security Agency monitored webcam transmissions of the users of Yahoo! Inc. services. So what does this suggest about privacy for employees in the near future?

Mike Haberman explores the question in an entry on Blogging 4 Jobs. As he explains, there is no federal law dealing with the privacy of employees in the private sector with the exception of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Several states have laws protecting employees in situations where they can be observed or listened to over the phone, he says, and most companies let employees know their privacy isn’t protected when they use business computers, phones and other equipment.

In addition, bring your own device policies allow stored company data to be accessed and deleted on many employees’ personal devices. Haberman says employees sometimes are also being monitored by GPS devices, causing a fight with unions.

He notes that as technology continues to advance, these issues will grow. “As we introduce ‘robots’ or AI devices more and more into our workplace, the opportunities for ‘violating’ someone’s privacy loom larger,” Haberman says. He advises human resource managers to put their privacy caps on and prepare for the new technologies.

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