Bridging the Gap between Employee Surveillance and Privacy Protection

Bridging the Gap between Employee Surveillance and Privacy Protection

Lilian Mitrou (University of the Aegean, Greece) and Maria Karyda (University of the Aegean, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-960-1.ch082


This chapter addresses the issue of electronic workplace monitoring and its implications for employees’ privacy. Organizations increasingly use a variety of electronic surveillance methods to mitigate threats to their information systems. Monitoring technology spans different aspects of organizational life, including communications, desktop and physical monitoring, collecting employees’ personal data, and locating employees through active badges. The application of these technologies raises privacy protection concerns. Throughout this chapter, we describe different approaches to privacy protection followed by different jurisdictions. We also highlight privacy issues with regard to new trends and practices, such as teleworking and use of RFID technology for identifying the location of employees. Emphasis is also placed on the reorganization of work facilitated by information technology, since frontiers between the private and the public sphere are becoming blurred. The aim of this chapter is twofold: we discuss privacy concerns and the implications of implementing employee surveillance technologies and we suggest a framework of fair practices which can be used for bridging the gap between the need to provide adequate protection for information systems, while preserving employees’ rights to privacy.

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