Give your assessment of the following statement. Business is abusing its power with respect to invasion of privacy of both consumers and employees. What particular surveillance practice do you think is the most ethically questionable?
1. Give your assessment of the following statement. Business is abusing its power with respect to invasion of privacy of both consumers and employees. What particular surveillance practice do you think is the most ethically questionable?
This statement can be argued from both positions (agree or disagree), while others think some surveillance is necessary and appropriate, while other methods go too far and are an invasion of privacy for both the consumer and employees. In other words, people assess this statement from either vantage points, some argue that the employer has every right to keep an eye on the employees since they are paying them to work for them, not to e-mail friends, search the Internet, chat or go into Facebook, YouTube or play games on the computer, like many employees do. I agree. Do you?
In fact, monitoring what employees do online is increasingly common, if not routine. A 2005 study by the American Management Association of some 500 companies in the U.S. has reported some interesting facts. Of the 500 companies in the study, a quarter had fired staff for inappropriate web surfing and e-mail use. According to Adam Schran, CEO of Internet optimization software maker Ascentive LLC, the reason employers need to pay attention where workers are going online is to keep communications pipelines flowing. “The biggest thing that we’ve seen is, it bogs down the infrastructure,” he said, listing sites like YouTube and BitTorrent as major contributors. “We’ve had companies who buy our software, and very quickly, their bandwidth usage has plummeted,” he continued. “Previously, they had massive amounts of YouTube usage. With our application, they didn’t have that anymore.” (http://www.novascotiabusinessjournal.com/index.cfm?sid=133059&sc=107)
The reasons that employees give for surveillance of employees vary, ranging from a desire to increase productivity, to the need to protect company data and hardware from viruses and hackers, and also to lessen potential liability and litigation. In the last