Draft 3 SWEN 603

Draft 3 SWEN 603 - Privacy in Workplace: Right to Know...

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Privacy in Workplace: Right to Know Submitted To Dr. Crystal Cooper Graduate School University of Maryland University College Date: November 22, 2009
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1. Introduction Organizations have collected data about their employees for quite some time. Collecting this data is necessary for management activities like hiring, payroll, and performance evaluation and organization security. This data is gathered by monitoring employees of an organization. Although employee monitoring is by no means a new phenomenon, the possibility to do so without any human intervention or interruption. The technology used to monitor employees is very powerful and can easily provide data for every aspect of employees’ life, making surveillance less overt and more diffused (Introna, 2000, 33). This monitoring is often viewed as a value added element of information systems, as designers are often required to design technology, which will capture, analyze and disclose personal information. Businesses’ information and communication systems are confronted by a great variety of threats. Attacks originating from outside, such as hacking attempts usually get public attention. Insider threats, on the other hand, pose a significantly greater level of risk (Schultz, 2002, 527) and have a heavier cost for organizations. The term “insider threat” refers to threats originating from employees of an organization, who have been given access rights to information and communication systems, and misuse their privileges, performing actions that violate the security of these systems. Surveillance technology is increasingly applied by organizations in their attempt to confront information systems security threats, and especially insider threats. 1.1. Definition of privacy The term privacy is often misinterpreted. “The right of the individual to control the dissemination of information about oneself” (Rich, 1995, 4) is the broad definition that the Supreme Court uses for privacy. This is the definition that is applied to the context of privacy in the workplace. 1.2. Contingency tests for privacy There are three contingency tests that are applied on the individual basis to determine if an employee has an expectation of privacy initially. The three tests are: (Rich, 1995, 6) 1. A subject test: This test evaluates the means by which an employee has attempted to protect his/her privacy. 2. An objective test: This test evaluates the expectation of privacy an employee has in his office or desk in light of security measures and surveillance of employees in the workplace. 3. A reasonableness standard: This test judges whether the inception and the scope of invasion of privacy is reasonable under the circumstances As result the employer has most of the decision making influence to determine if the personal information was disseminated correctly or not. Furthermore, it allows the employer to decide if
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there is any real level of expectation of privacy. Expectation of privacy has been reduced immensely in today’s information age. 2.
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course MBA 101 taught by Professor X during the Spring '11 term at Shawnee.

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Draft 3 SWEN 603 - Privacy in Workplace: Right to Know...

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