Free The Ethics of the Invasion of Personal Knowledge Information Essay Sample
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Personal knowledge is an insight gained through firsthand experience. Therefore, personal knowledge information is what is known by an individual and is considered as private by that individual. Privacy is relative depending on the culture and beliefs of an individual. That is, what is considered private by one community may not be viewed in the same manner in another.
With the advancement of technology most companies and organizations have invented the use of technology to monitor employees. Monitoring and surveillance has been carried out to investigate an employees efficiency by analyzing how the employee does his/her work. It seeks to unveil whether the employee is using the business equipment for personal email or games or solely for company gain. The methods that have been used for employee surveillance include keystroke monitoring, hardware key logger, events timeline logging, website activity, application usage and attentiveness monitoring.
Reasons for Seeking Undocumented Personal Knowledge
The major justifications for employee monitoring include finding business information when the employee is not around and for investigating of possible criminal activities employees might be involved in. It is also for the prevention of information and data that is considered proprietary from being leaked. Lastly, it checks for violations of company policies for example, sending pornographic emails and to check for illegal software that might have been installed by the employee.
Legitimacy of Employee Surveillance
Employers argue that they have a right to see what their workers are doing throughout the day because time wasted on internet translates to economic losses. Most companies track key stroke accuracy, employee movement and destination of phone calls to calculate an employee’s productivity. Through this, the key managers can work at attaining work targets, make sure hard working employees are rewarded and the third parties are protected. This makes some level of employee surveillance justifiable in order to regulate business operations
Relevance of Knowledge Sought Through Invasion of Privacy
Knowledge sought through invasion of privacy is unethical and distractive on the employees on whom it is practiced. It has been evidenced that computer monitored employees suffer morale, health and stress issues than non-monitored employees. This is a cost to the company or organization. It also acts as a channel to resentment and low confidence in the organization. Surveillance has ruined the trust of employees in employers; the tragedy is that trust that has been lost is not regained easily.
Interactional and informational information privacy is continually invaded since private information is not treated as such and messages intended for specific individuals have become accessible to employers. This protects the interests of the employer at the expense of the needs of the employee. Employees also have legitimate concerns on the rising cases of theft caused by the invasion of private information.
Offensiveness of Information Invasion
Invasion of privacy is not the only offensive means of obtaining information. Physical surveillance through mounted cameras has been a source of intrusion on employee’s mental and psychological privacy. The awareness that an individual is being monitored is enough reason for one to live in constant fear and feel that his/her freedom to speech and mobility has been constrained.
Restrictions to Privacy Invasion and the Law
The tragedy is that employees have little recourse. Much as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act prohibits interception of electronic communications, it exempts employers and service providers. A federal bill that demanded of employers to notify employees of surveillance was not voted. Additionally, court opinions do not support the employee. They argue that an employee that uses an employer’s property should expect minimal privacy. Employees who want private communication should use own equipments at own times.
In conclusion, information invasion remains unethical and unmoral at all times. It would be more favorable if companies made clear their surveillance as a contractual term. It would also be of essence that privacy be conferred to employees.
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