Informed Consent and Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace

Informed Consent and Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace

Steve Clarke (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-456-9.ch012
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Abstract

The use of electronic monitoring devices in the workplaces of the private sector of capitalist economies is considered from the vantage-point of the doctrine of informed consent, a doctrine that is understood, following Clarke (2001), to be the basis for a general analysis of consenting relations. It is argued that electronic monitoring in workplace situations where employee consent is possible is unacceptable without that consent. The consent-based argument developed is compared with arguments aimed at restricting the use of electronic monitoring in the workplace that are grounded in the values of privacy and autonomy. It is argued that, whereas a consent-based argument leads to the aforementioned decisive conclusion, arguments that are grounded in the values of privacy and autonomy do not lead to decisive conclusions that could be used to warrant restrictions on the use of contemporary electronic monitoring devices in the workplace.

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