Where’s Line Between Employee Monitoring and Privacy Invasion?

Typically, companies have a policy that says when you are accessing company information and using company systems, then you forgo any right to privacy.

Posted by Joe Gerard in Article on September 8th, 2011
Employers walk a fine line when it comes to monitoring employees and invading their privacy. A Tech Flash article by Almeera Anwar features an interview with Michael Droke, co-department head of the Labor and Employment Group at Seattle law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP. In the interview, Droke was asked about where the line is drawn when it comes to monitoring employees and invading their privacy. Droke replied:

Typically, companies have a policy that says when you are accessing company information and using company systems, then you forgo any right to privacy. Where the company does not have rights is to personal email accounts or personal storage devices. If they think there are data in these areas, they may not have an immediate right to look and need to get the court involved.

When asked about employees checking their personal email at work, Droke replied:

 It’s a gray area. There are times when that account and the email that is on it will create a shadow image onto the hard drive, and the law still says that if the employee is working on the company’s computer, then the company may still have the right to that information.

Read More: Michael Droke on why you should not check personal email at work


Joe Gerard
Joe Gerard

CEO, i-Sight

Spend my days showing off the i-Sight investigative case management software and finding ways to help clients improve their investigations. Usually working with corporate security, HR & employee relations, compliance and legal teams.

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