Who's Spying on You at Work?

"You better be prepared for what you find out, and it may be that the most senior people in your organization are perpetrating the biggest problem," says Atthought CEO Arthur Tisi. "And then it becomes, 'How can I tell the CEO he can't go to Pamela Lee's Web site?'"

The pressure on employers to monitor their employees' computer activity has increased dramatically in the last few years. Companies now can be held liable for a broad range of employee misconduct, such as sexual harassment or using unlicensed software. Two laws passed since the mid 90s have created new employer responsibilities for storing employee communications, and officers of companies that fail to comply with these measures can be held personally accountable.

The most obvious consequence has been a sharp upsurge in the use of surveillance technology. A 2003 survey by the America Management Association found that 52 percent of companies engage in some form of employee e-mail monitoring (and one in five have fired an employee for e-mail misconduct). That was up sharply from 2001, when the firm conducted the same survey and found that just 24 percent of companies monitored e-mail. Research firm IDC forecasts that the secure content-management software market will grow from its present annual level of US$2.7 billion to $6.4 billion by 2007.

News source: NewsFactor

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