Electronic Surveillance at the Workplace

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Electronic Surveillance
Quinn M. Lunda
Professor R. Joy Walker
Law-Ethics-and Corporate Governance
January 23, 2011

Electronic Surveillance has been part of Americans framework since the invention of the telephone. Employers utilize a variety of electronic surveillance devices and other means of obtaining information. These devices are computer monitoring, video surveillance, investigators, spying, and eavesdropping/wiretapping as well as other means. Most employers have a valid reason for using one or more surveillance devices to either monitor their employees for business purposes such as for training, quality assurance and customer service and others use it monitor customers and employee integrity from theft and fraud. Early on in the electronic age legislation was created to protect our civil liberties from being violated and pried upon by the federal government, police, employers and the general public this legislation was known as the Omnibus Crime Control and safe Streets Act and later amended to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of (ECPA) 1986 which governs third-party interceptions of electronic communications. The questions that employees have in today’s work place is if they have any expectation of privacy, when and where my conversations can be deemed private, do employers have the right to eavesdrop on conversations while I am in the workplace and to what extent can they go.

Today information about hundreds of thousands of things surround us, it hits us from every direction, the television in morning broadcast the daily news, radio personalities during your commute to work was well as conversations from people passing you by on the street or in the supermarket. While in the workplace were can an employee expect to have privacy within that environment? Employees should expect a limited amount of privacy based on their surroundings. The Supreme Court of California recently held that: “In an office or...
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