[LINK] NSW targets employers' email snooping
adam at todd.inoz.com
Wed Mar 31 10:59:08 EST 2004
>I guess there are a few of out there that will be needing some legal
>opinions on this one and some re-defined acceptable practice
>conditions. It looks like a minefield.
Personally it's simple.
The Email address is a company asset. The Directors of a company are
legally obliged to know every activity and transaction of the company, it's
employees and assigns.
Hence, if the email is a company issue, then the company has to right to
review and read email.
If a staff member uses the company postal address for postal mail, does the
company not have a right to open the email as it is after all addressed to
the company's address.
I get postal mail here for staff all the time. We open ALL mail addressed
to the company, that includes email. After all it has the COMPANY's
address in it. Much of the postal and email sent to staff is either not
relevant to their jobs, or not relevant to the company.
I wouldn't go so far as to say staff are "stealing bandwidth or resources"
by using the company email or postal services. If they use their own
private email address for private email, that's fine by me, and they can
have mail sent to the company postal addresses provided it does not have
the company name as part of the address.
I have to log staff mail in order to ensure production schedules and
activities are managed, monitored and acted upon promptly. There is
nothing wore than a Production Assistant being sick for a week, and all the
actors email "What time is my shoot tomorrow" and we don't know. Pretty
silly having half a million dollars in equipment set up and no one to
perform in front of it.
I like the bit about employers rights to protect their intellectual
property. However, what about the economical rights of the corporation to
make a profit and minimise costs? Some might say employees not only use
excessive bandwidth on non-work related email, but also the employyee's
time, some up to four hours a day, replying to email that is
unrelated. Perhaps we should cut salaries in half and charge $1 a minute
for Internet access in the office? Then it can be a fringe benefit!
Staff are told NOT to use their company addresses for PERSONAL email as it
will be read, not necessarily always by me.
If this new legislation prevents a company doing it's job under
Commonwealth Law, then the State Law has no value at al, and it's just a
smoke screen. Remember that Corporations Law and Telecommunications Act
will take precedent over any state passed laws.
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