Employee E-Mail and Internet Privacy Policies the Essay

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Employee E-Mail and Internet Privacy Policies

The increased usage of the Internet and e-mail has changed the way companies do business. Nearly instantaneous communication can take place globally. Information on a countless number of topics can now be accessed from anywhere around the world. These technological developments have not only helped employees increase their efficiencies, but also has given them a new means of distraction from their duties. For this reason, many companies have developed e-mail and Internet policies.

At my job, our e-mail policy states that e-mails should not include illegal or libelous statements. E-mail is to be used for business purposes only and e-mail communications are the property of the company. For this reason, the company may access sent and received from work computers at any time, this includes deleted e-mails that are stored on the company's servers. The Internet policy is similar in that the Internet is also to be used solely for business purposes. In addition, employees are directed to not release confidential information and to always keep anti-virus programs up-to-date.
Employees are prohibited from visiting pornographic, illegal, unethical, and any other non-business related sites.

For the most part, current laws regarding e-mail privacy are in favor of the employer. E-mails sent through a company owned system are the property of the company, and therefore they are allowed to review the contents. "This includes web-based email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail as well as instant messages" ("Fact sheet 7," 2010). However, there are some instances where courts have ruled in favor of the employee's privacy, such as a March 30th, 2010 New Jersey Supreme Court case in which an employer retrieved an employee's e-mail communication between the employee and their attorney. The Court found this to be an invasion of the attorney-client privilege. Regarding Internet privacy, this too, for the most part can be monitored by the employer, per current laws. Certain union contracts….....

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