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Workforce monitoring. Surveillance. Big Brother. Terms that might generally describe how companies try to prevent cyber threats tend to make employees fear the invasion of their privacy.

Amid growing threats to trade secrets and infrastructure, companies are adopting more advanced protective programs. At the same time, employers are looking to strike a balance that takes into account privacy, communications and employment laws.

Erika Brown Lee

“The programs you choose need to be socialized so that the employees feel their privacy will be protected and they have the opportunity to see and understand the application of the program,” Erika Brown Lee, assistant general counsel at MasterCard for privacy and data protection, said on a panel in Washington on Wednesday. “When the employee is monitored, there should be a clear and articulated policy that is available to all employees.”

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