Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Electronic surveillance in the workplace

I've been researching a bit on organizations monitoring their employees by using surveillance type technologies. I came across this interesting report from the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute: 2007 Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance Survey:
Monitoring Internet, Blogs and Social Networking Sites:

Employers are primarily concerned about inappropriate Web surfing, with 66% monitoring Internet connections. Fully 65% of companies use software to block connections to inappropriate Websites—a 27% increase since 2001 when AMA/ePolicy Institute first surveyed electronic monitoring and surveillance policies and procedures.

Employers who block access to the Web are concerned about employees visiting adult sites with sexual, romantic, or pornographic content (96%); game sites (61%); social networking sites (50%); entertainment sites (40%); shopping/auction sites (27%); and sports sites (21%). In addition, companies use URL blocks to stop employees from visiting external blogs (18%).Computer monitoring takes many forms, with 45% of employers tracking content, keystrokes, and time spent at the keyboard. Another 43% store and review computer files.
To most of these organization's credit they do at least tell their employees that they are being monitored. But geez, I don't know about you; I find these numbers incredibly depressing. I can't imagine working under such conditions. If this is your life, I'd love to hear from you. Send me email or whatever works. kevin.j.gamble at gmail.com. (Anonymity assured.)

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