tech privacy being violated, huh?!

While perusing the interwebs, I found this very interesting story about how a worker felt her privacy was violated while the company she worked for monitored her online activity.

I can’t believe this train of thought. When you are at work (whether it be a company or government agency) you are using the company’s computer and their bandwidth. They pay for these resources for you to do your job. It’s true you may have lunch time or whatever to do personal surfing and what not but you should always assume someone is watching everything you do. It’s their right to do so!

Recent lessons in Internet law have showed us that the one footing the bill for the Internet access is liable for use on that network. So if someone uses your bandwidth to download illegal content (such as the RIAA has shown us lately), you’re on the hook. Court battles have yet to show us how these cases will shake out.
With the nature of the internet, users assume there’s a level of anonymity. Well there isn’t. Everything you do on the internet is trackable no matter who you are or how you’re connecting.

Ok I’m taking a step back from my soap box

Link to original story

4 comments on “tech privacy being violated, huh?!
  1. There is something to be said about trust. Sure you can expect that you job is going to monitor your surfing and what not, but should they? Wouldn’t a better situation be to hire people that you trust and have a clear understanding and dialog about what is acceptable and what is not. Furthermore, in a situation of big brother you always have to wonder who is watching the watchers? Lastly, you comment about checking what your friends do on your computer after they are done is just sad. A much better situation would be to just get some better friends that you actually trust, present company excluded, obviously.

  2. After working for many companies both small (ones where there is a high level of trust) and large (where there are many more people and not as much trust) – let me tell you, people do stupid stuff and look at very inappropriate stuff on their work computers.
    I’m not just talking about lewd jokes or bikini pictures – naaasty stuff that shouldn’t be viewed in a public place, cubicle, whatever.
    Firewalls and routers and the IS departments that run them are skating a fine line. If an employee is looking at pr0n and a co-worker sees it and reports sexual harassment, the company can be found negligible if they aren’t filtering it out or whatnot. The company needs to cover their arse, so to say.

    So yeah it would be great to be able to trust people, but most of the time it doesn’t work.

    Yeah you’re right – I came off wrong in my post, I’m not spying on my friends when they use my network. I guess what I was trying to say is that if I owned a company, I’d have safeguards in place to protect the company from employee actions, such as low-level filters that merely block out the basics bad stuff.

  3. Filtering can put you in as much if not more harm. For instance, if I an employee knows that the company filters out the “bad stuff” then does that mean that if I can get to a given website it is company approved?

    It would be best for the company to be able to point to various hours of “acceptable use” training along with “sexual harassment” training, etc. I think that if a company were able to show this training in court along with signed statements from the inappropriate individual, it would be much better protected than the company showing a receipt for a garbage piece of filtering software.

    I guess one way to get around this is to just have a white list of “approved websites” because as we both know there is not one single internet filter worth a damn. Then this way employees can just use a site that management deems helpful or appropriate. The only problem with this is that employees will never find something else to increase productivity, or read about a new helpful procedure, etc.

    Another thing you have to consider is that the Internet is just a window. Books are a windows, magazines are a windows, phones are a windows, etc. If a company is filtering the Internet to prevent sexual harassment then what about bag filtering, phone filtering, etc, etc, etc.

    The problem with monitoring is that it never stops, it always wants more and more and more and before you know it your office, government, etc is spending more time and resources on what not to do then what to do. If you need an example of this just look at our out of control criminal system. Look at how much is spent on “monitoring” instead of teaching. People, business, and governments don’t intend for it to be like this, but before you know it there is no turning back as it turns into a slippery slope that you just cant walk back up.

    …..sorry for the long comments I am just a very big advocate of the powers of education over monitoring. As you can imagine I was a very big pain in the a*s for many monitor-centric-individuals while working at a large EDUCATIONAL establishment that took a similar monitoring standpoint.

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