Employees are supposed to use encryption to protect the privacy of their electronic mail. Encryption involves scrambling the message at the sender’s terminal, then unscrambling the message at the terminal of the receiver. This ensures the message is read only by the sender or intended recipient. This prevents co-workers and industrial “spies” from reading ones electronic mail, the employer must not have access to the scrambled messages unless though court orders. Electronic mail systems retain messages in memory even after they have been deleted.
Although it appears they are erased, they are often permanently “backed up” on magnetic tape, along with other important data from the computer system. The employer must have no access to this mails unless legally. Many electronic mail systems have the option of marking electronic mails as private, but it does not guarantee your messages are kept confidential.
An exception is when an employer’s written electronic mail policy states that messages marked “private” are kept confidential.
Even in this situation, however, there may be exceptions for the employer, which for a genuine system should not be the case. If the policies are, met employees are able to protect their privacy using common laws such as invasion of privacy, violation of their constitutional right to privacy, and violation of the criminal wiretapping and eavesdropping statutes. (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2006). The companies are almost fully protected by the laws. For example: If an electronic mail (e-mail) system is used at a company, the employer owns it and is allowed to review its contents.
Since the employer owns the computer network and the terminals, he or she is free to use them to monitor employees at their terminals while they are working. Infect in accordance with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, several workplace privacy court cases have been decided in the employer’s favor. Companies should have a monitoring system that facilitates compliance with corporate code of conduct policies and protect it against employees’ allegations of invasion of privacy and discrimination.
The system should alert supervisors to possible email policy violations before they become an issue and impact the company. Secondly it ought to monitor for inappropriate transfer of corporate IP, such as source code, new product descriptions, sales/marketing plans, formulas, trade secrets and company’s processes. Thirdly monitoring on inappropriate inbound content such as jokes, pornography and gambling Improve consistency and quality of corporate communications. These policies should demonstrate the active enforcement of written policies with detailed tracking reports and logs.
Individual mailbox monitoring for specific content in real-time Immediate email alerts prompt the auditor or manager to review the questionable content verses remembering to check for alerts manually, every day. (TIN, 2008). Protection of corporate IP and regulatory compliance are two key company’s requirements driving the monitoring of communication content. Companies seek to prevent both accidental leakages of data as well as deliberate attempts to thwart corporate policy. (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2006).
A good monitoring system provides a robust solution for archiving and retrieving all of the email content sent or received by specific accounts within a company ensuring that the complete range of electronic communications of specific users and groups is fully archived and auditable. For example, capturing all email communications, called journaling, enables a financial services institution–where regulations demand all dealer-broker communications be available for immediate audit to ensure regulatory compliance.
(Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2006). Also a structured retention and disposition management of all email, allowing decision on how long emails are kept and when they are automatically destroyed is of importance. Regulations should govern not just how long information is kept, but also how it is kept, a system where one automates the process of ensuring that email is stored on the appropriate storage media, in compliance with regulations. Say on a non-rewritable storage media.
A good system records who has retrieved and viewed specific emails from the archive. An audit trail lists the type of operation performed on the item, the date and time of the operation and the user who performed the operation. If the activity involves a change, such as renaming the file or updating the metadata, the audit trail reflects the old information. It extracts a random sampling of archived email content and automates the process of routing it to an internal reviewer.
Reviewers can then grade email in accordance with external regulatory demands or internal policy requirements. (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2006).
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, (2006,February). Employee monitoring, Retrieved may 1, 2008, from: http://www. privacyrights. org/fs/fs7-work. htm ThomasNet Industrial Newsroom (TIN), (2008,12th February), Email Monitoring Software ensures regulatory compliance, ThomasNet Publishing Company. Retrieved May 1, 2008, from: http://news. thomasnet. com/fullstory/539711
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