Ethics of Workplace Surveillance Games

Ethics of Workplace Surveillance Games

Peter Danielson (University of British Columbia, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-456-9.ch002
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Many problems in the ethics of technology arise because our ethical conventions take time to adapt to our technology. Workplace surveillance is a good example. This chapter develops some of the ethical issues raised by surveillance technology in the workplace, using a framework of informal game theory. One leading approach to workplace surveillance, following Foucault’s Panopticon metaphor, emphasizes the power of employers over employees; another looks at unexpected consequences from a managerial perspective. Our analysis shows that both of these approaches have more structure than is often noticed, yielding new alternatives for ethical policy recommendation. On the one hand, even those under surveillance by the more powerful have options, and the equilibrium includes outcomes not preferred by the more powerful player. On the other, most surveillance systems have at least two equilibria. Here, ethics has an important role in helping agents choose and maintain socially better equilibria. A number of policy recommendations follow from this approach. This chapter deploys a framework of informal game theory to elucidate some of the ethical issues raised by surveillance technology in the workplace. We do not use “games” in our title to diminish the importance of the issues we discuss, but rather to highlight their interactive, strategic, and dynamic aspects. This chapter focuses on how alternatives are structured by new electronic workplace surveillance technologies, yielding new opportunities for ethics. This chapter extends the approach of Danielson (2002b) to support recommendations for policy in the workplace.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Joseph Migga Kizza, Jackline Ssanyu
This chapter identifies factors that are encouraging the growth in the monitoring of employees at work and investigates the reasons for this growth.... Sample PDF
Workplace Surveillance
Chapter 2
Peter Danielson
Many problems in the ethics of technology arise because our ethical conventions take time to adapt to our technology. Workplace surveillance is a... Sample PDF
Ethics of Workplace Surveillance Games
Chapter 3
Matthew Warren, Shona Leitch
Organisations spend large sums of money to ensure that they are protected against the risks associated with external threats. The perceived threats... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Hacking and Computer Abuse: Australian Case Studies
Chapter 4
Bernd Carsten Stahl, Mary Prior, Sara Wilford, Dervla Collins
This chapter will start with a discussion of three different pieces of research concerning surveillance. The first study looks at the perception of... Sample PDF
Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace: If People Don't Care, Then What is the Relevance?
Chapter 5
Brian L. Zirkle, William G. Staples
In this chapter, we explore the ways that employees at a large, corporate retail store consent to and challenge the in-store video surveillance... Sample PDF
Negotiating Workplace Surveillance
Chapter 6
David Zweig
This chapter explores the possibility that electronic performance monitoring violates the basic psychological boundary between the employer and... Sample PDF
Beyond Privacy and Fairness Concerns: Examining Psychological Boundary Violations as a Consequence of Electronic Performance Monitoring
Chapter 7
Carl Botan, Mihaela Vorvoreanu
This chapter focuses on the unintended effects that accompany the use of information technology for surveillance in the workplace, in particular the... Sample PDF
What Do Employees Think about Electronic Surveillance at Work?
Chapter 8
Christopher Brien
This chapter examines workplace monitoring in Australia. Competing interests between those of employees and employers are outlined. Recent decisions... Sample PDF
Establishing Boundaries: Employees, Employers and Workplace Monitoring
Chapter 9
David Casacuberta
The main aim of this chapter is to analyse the contradictions among several verdicts in Spain about the legality of digital monitoring in the... Sample PDF
Loaded Metaphors: Legal Explanations on Monitoring the Workplace in Spain
Chapter 10
Brian M. O’Connell
This chapter will examine the development and convergence of two abstract concepts: academic freedom and electronic monitoring. It will consider... Sample PDF
Electronic Monitoring in the American Academy
Chapter 11
Soraj Hongladarom
This chapter proposes a new way of coping with the problem of electronic surveillance, which is derived from Buddhist teaching. Many dominant... Sample PDF
Electronic Surveillance in the Workplace: A Buddhist Perspective
Chapter 12
Steve Clarke
The use of electronic monitoring devices in the workplaces of the private sector of capitalist economies is considered from the vantage-point of the... Sample PDF
Informed Consent and Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace
Chapter 13
Emma Rooksby, Natasha Cica
In this chapter we suggest a significant cause for concern about electronic surveillance in the workplace, namely the moral and political value of... Sample PDF
Personal Autonomy and Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace
Chapter 14
Seumas Miller
This chapter is concerned with the use of communication and computer technology to surveil and monitor the performance and activity of police... Sample PDF
Guarding the Guards: The Right to Privacy, and Workplace Surveillance and Monitoring in Policing
Chapter 15
Stephen Coleman
This chapter discusses the monitoring of employee e-mail and Internet usage in the context of the international nature of most modern business. Its... Sample PDF
Universal Human Rights and Employee Privacy: Questioning Employer Monitoring of Computer Usage
About the Authors