Employee Privacy Report
• Write a 1,050- to 1,200-word report addressing e-mail, Internet use, and privacy policies. Answer the following questions in your report:
o What are the e-mail use, Internet use, and privacy policies at your job?
The email policy at my job at the Florida Foundation for Families (hereinafter “FFF”) are that work email is strictly to be used for work purposes and not for personal use. The policy is covered in our Employee Handbook, and states that the rationale for the policy is that we should only be working during work time, and that if we were to use work email for private use, it could expose the company to internet threats that would otherwise be ...view middle of the document...
We are also told in the Employee Handbook that we have no expectation of privacy whatsoever in our work emails and whatever information may be on our work computers. FFF states that this is due to the fact that the computers are FFF’s property, not ours, and since they are supposed to be used primarily for work purposes (except during breaks and lunch), we should keep anything private we want to do with computers to our computers at home.
o What are the current laws regulating employee e-mail and Internet privacy?
Currently, there is no Florida law that protects an employee from having their work email and work computer accessed by management, so there is no right to privacy that extends to work. In large part, this is based on the fact that an employee has a diminished expectation of privacy in his or her work email and internet usage, since in exchange for being employed by the company,the employee is sacrificing that expectation of privacy. This policy is consistent with an employer’s ability to drug test an employee, since again the employee chooses to sacrifice his or her privacy for employment.
o Why do companies implement e-mail and Internet use policies?
As I alluded to above, I believe the primary reason for companies to implement these policies is to make it clear that employees should be working during work time, and the fact that they have internet connections should not affect that fundamental policy. Additionally, due to the fear of an employee downloading a file that contains a virus or a Trojan horse, the company has a substantial interest in restricting employees’ usage, so they are not possibly exposed to these threats. A virus, for instance, could be spread throughout the network and might wind up costing the company thousands of dollars to repair whatever damage it caused. Additionally, a Trojan Horse could be even more damaging, since it could allow a hacker access to private information, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank accounts, of the familes’ who seek our assistance, who are already in a troubled financial state.
o What assumptions might employees make about their privacy at work? How do these policies affect employee privacy at work?
If employees are unaware of their employers’ policies, many may believe that they have an expectation o...