Security versus privacy Introduction Everybody has ever felt frustrated and violated on learning that his/her private social site was hacked into by a person without their knowledge or permission? The issues of developing workplace security policy has for long overlapped with privacy issues as security cannot be effectively implemented without monitoring the private activities of individuals. This is exactly what happens at the workplace when the management seeks to implement a security policy that seeks to protect its data and information from competitors. In the process of developing such secure systems, the private information, exchanges, communication and data of the employee are accessed without their knowledge and this has been seen to go against the policy of privacy.
However, privacy and security in any system overlaps and a central congruent point must be achieved to enable both benefit the employees and the employer by ensuring the protection of organizations information and reducing access to private information without permission. This diagnostic essay will assess the approaches that have been developed in implementing a working security policy in organization while at the same time maintaining the privacy of the employees.
It will also highlight some of the concerns that have been raised with employees against the human resource department as far as privacy and espionage is concerned. Security versus privacy In the process of achieving security as the workplace, a process that is fundamental in the growth of any organization, a balance must be achieved between pursuing security and maintaining privacy of the employees. United States laws capture the same position, which despite outlawing espionage at the workplace considers the need for organizations to protect their information.
As opposed to the previous years, communication today has adopted an approach that is easier to monitor and spy at due to its electronic nature and the easy access of internet private sites. A number of federal and state rules exist that stipulates electronic communication at the workplace and restricts access of private information by the employer. These rules makes illegal for employers to intercept wire communication of the employees but acknowledges the fact that these communication gadgets are owned by the organization. An organization must therefore have a reasonable ground for intercepting the communication of its employees before actually doing so.
However, each employee in the organization must be informed prior that all communications undertaken using the company’s communication systems will be monitored. This will provide a better ground for the organization to defend its action should the employee seek legal redress due to espionage and violation of privacy. Employee monitoring is a policy undertaking that cannot be formulated and implemented overnight without the right communication channels followed. Thus, to avoid legal battles with employees over violation of privacy rights, an organization must provide a policy communication of such a process and make it readily available for each employee to understand.
Apart from the electronic communication monitoring in organization, most institutions today have visual and audio surveillance devices that are used to monitor the events that occur in the organization. Most organizations implement such approaches solely for security reasons but a thin line exists between such surveillance process and the infringement in the privacy of an individual. Despite federal laws lacking to control visual and audio surveillance, a number of privacy abuse issues have arose before a number of courts in the country making it essential for an organization to strike a balance.
Before installing and commissioning any visual and audio surveillance system, an organization must ensure that the employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The presence of such systems should not be kept secret as this leads to surprising the employees and creating an illegal espionage center that is meant to catch the employees by surprise. The CCTV cameras must therefore be placed in a public place where all can be able to see it and behave in a way that they are aware is being monitored.
Most states have regulations that restrict the surveillance of locker rooms and other private areas like the washrooms as this is in direct violation of individual privacy. Finally, the increasing concern on data theft and data brokerage between organizations has increased the need for organizations to install ways of protecting their private information. This has been done in a number of organizations through the use of tracking devices.
Some organizations have installed tracking devices in the private mobile phones of their employees to enable them monitor their actual physical locations. This has been made possible with global positioning systems (GPS) among others that are monitored by use of computers. Despite the absence of federal regulations of the tracking or employees, a central agreeable point must be reached to prevent the endangering of the employees life using such tracking devices. Conclusion In the process of ensuring security within organizations through the protection of organizations’ properties, information and access, the privacy of the employees has been compromised.
This has made it essential for organization to develop a central position that ensures that their private information and data is protected while the privacy of the employees is not violated. This is essential due to the legal ramification that can arise in an event of an employee seeking legal redress on the grounds of privacy violation.