Email, Phone, and Social Media Monitoring in the Workplace

By August 5, 2013Blog, Business Law

privacy law - Social Media Monitoring in the WorkplaceThe question of email, phone, and social media monitoring in the workplace, along with employee monitoring, has to be carefully contemplated whenever enforcement is to be undertaken. Ensuring that proper security protocol has been properly established, and put in place, will give business owners the peace of mind that they require to set their focus in moving their enterprise forward. Employees, on the other hand, are the backbone of any enterprise if it is to succeed.

Email Monitoring

Employee monitoring can be undertaken by adapting an email protocol based on the company’s email domain. Since each employee is assigned an email address for business communication, the corresponding username and password is stored in the company’s server so that email traffic can be filtered and monitored for quality assurance. Most company IT administrators can configure workstations in a way that only company assigned client email is accessible and no third party webmail can be used. By implementing this strategy, personal privacy will not be an issue in most cases, as these are all work related email communications.

Phone Monitoring

Employee monitoring by phone does work pretty much the same as an email monitoring process. A business phone system, technically known as a private branch exchange (PBX), will host all incoming and outgoing calls. A system administrator is usually assigned in the monitoring and maintenance of it, and would have the ability to filter and redirect calls and volume traffic depending on the company’s policy. Mobile and personal phones however are much more challenging for administrators compared to landline management. A personal phone is being used for private communication and such is protected by existing law and cannot be violated. But phones nowadays are no longer just phones. They are an audio and video recording device, a camera, and a gadget that are capable of sending emails. Modern phones have become the perfect gadget for industrial espionage, and if not taken care, of will cause big problems to a small enterprise.

Social Media Monitoring

It is understandable that social media monitoring is needed for the betterment of everyone. For a large organization to be successful, reputable and hardworking employees are needed. However, multiple state laws are now banning employers from asking workers for their user names and passwords of their personal social media accounts, or requesting that workers login to social media, in an attempt to monitor their activities via shoulder surfing. Employers are allowed to retrieve worker information under certain circumstances but you should consult an attorney before attempting to do so.

At Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, we understand the challenges of dealing with legal issues for your business and we are here to help. Give us a call and we will be happy to answer all your questions. Call us today at (414) 273-1144.

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