Surveillance in Workplace

Topics: Surveillance, Employment, Mass surveillance Pages: 5 (1462 words) Published: January 10, 2011
Technology in workplace (surveillance)
Definition of technology
* The study and knowledge of the practical, especially industrial, use of scientific discoveries. (Cambridge Dictionary Online) * Technology also refers to tools, machines and control devices used to carry out tasks and the principles, techniques and reasoning which accompany them. (Tony Watson, 2008) * Many fields of science have benefited from technology, as well as commerce and industry over the many centuries of human history. Workplace surveillance

* According to Cambridge Dictionary Online, surveillance defined as the careful watching of a person or place, especially by the police or army, because of a crime that has happened or is expected. * According to Lyon (2001), modern surveillance refers to any collection and processing of personal data, whether identifiable or not, for the purposes of influencing or managing those whose data has been garnered. * Due to the rapid growth of technology in workplace, modern surveillance in workplace has many differences when compare to the past. In the past, surveillance was overt, conducted in small scale, unsystematic and mostly “Embodied” – done in person. But because of modern technology, nowadays surveillance conducting in both overt and covert ways, large scale, systematic and ‘Disembodied’ – mostly automated. Twenty-first century industrial relations has been marked by a new age in workplace surveillance. Driven by technology and innovation, workplace surveillance is becoming increasingly sophisticated and accessible. (Afaras, 2004) In recent years, technological change has seen the emergence of few new surveillance possibilities such as Global Position Monitoring to determine the exact location of employees, devices that monitor worker productivity and devices that enable a third party to watch an employee screen as he or she works. In fact, Australia spends more money per capita on workplace surveillance equipment than most other industrialised nations (Dixon, 2004). While advances in surveillance technologies are generally welcomed by employers, there is a new concern that new technologies will leave employees open to abuse and discrimination and further, that workplace surveillance represents a threat to worker privacy and dignity. So, is surveillance in workplace bring advantages or disadvantages? Do we need surveillance in the workplace? Types of workplace surveillance

* There are two types of surveillance systems that frequently used in workplace. * Computer surveillance
* Internet surveillance
*  Is the active surveillance of the user’s Internet activities. When users operate a computer on the Internet, a record of the sites that were visited and the operations that were performed by the user can be generated by Internet surveillance software. Also known as spyware, this software is able to track the user’s activities and report it to the administrator. The administrator can then report this to the employer with various techniques. * Desktop surveillance

* Is the works by the employer’s computer intercepting a signal that is given off by the employee’s computer. That is done through specific surveillance software that could be remotely or physically installed on the employee's machine.

* Surveillance cameras
* Surveillance cameras are video cameras used for the purpose of observing an area. They are often connected to a recording device, IP network, and/or watched by a security guard/law enforcement officer. * The use of surveillance cameras by governments and businesses has dramatically increased over the last 10 years. For evidence, in U.K., there are about 4.2 million surveillance cameras—1 camera for every 14 people. Why we need surveillance in the workplace?

* Employers protect themselves and they property
* Employers have an absolute right to protect themselves and their property from security risks created by employment *...
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