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A Threat to Employee Privacy in the Wired Workplace
As the Internet has become an integral tool of businesses, company policies on Internet usage have become as common as policies regarding vacation days or sexual harassment. A 2005 study by the American Management Association and ePolicy Institute found that 76% of companies monitor employees’ use of the Web, and the number of companies that block employees’ access to certain Web sites has increased 27% since 2001 (1). Unlike other company rules, however, Internet usage policies often include language authorizing companies to secretly monitor their employees, a practice that raises questions about rights in the workplace. Although companies often have legitimate concerns that lead them to monitor employees’ Internet usage—from expensive security breaches to reduced productivity—the benefits of electronic surveillance are outweighed by its costs to employees’ privacy and autonomy.
While surveillance of employees is not a new phenomenon, electronic surveillance allows employers to monitor workers with unprecedented efficiency. In his book The Naked Employee, Frederick Lane describes offline ways in which employers have been permitted to intrude on employees’ privacy for decades, such as drug testing, background checks, psychological exams, lie detector
Opening sentences provide background for thesis.
Thesis asserts Orlov’s main point.
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Marginal annotations indicate MLA-style formatting and effective writing.
Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007).
This paper has been updated to follow the style guidelines in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. (2009). [continues]
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