Privacy in the Workplace

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Privacy in the Workplace In recent times our right to privacy has been under fire, particularly in the workplace. With the fear of terrorists in today's world, we have been willing to sacrifice some of our individual rights for the rights of a society as a whole. A majority of these changes have taken place since September 11, 2001, in an attempt to prevent future terrorist attacks. New legislation, such as the USA Patriot Act, which decreases the limitations on the federal government's ability to monitor people, has been created for this reason. Although new legislation may be instrumental in the defense of our national security, we must take a strong look at their effect and the effect of decreased privacy in the workplace. Advances in technology, coupled with new legislation, has had a serious toll on our privacy especially at work. It is now possible to monitor an employee's keystrokes on the computer to how much time a day is spent on bathroom breaks. It is imperative for us to take a stand against these violations to our rights In the years prior to the events of September 11, 2001 ("9/11"), very few voices of support, whether corporate or individual, existed for new technologies that could be considered intrusive. After the series of terrorist attacks in 2001, many Americans began to believe that these new intrusive technologies were a "necessary evil" in the prevention of future attacks by terrorist groups. While the events following 9/11 may have changed the attitude of the American public regarding national security, there is little indication it has changed their feelings about more personal aspects of privacy (Townsend & Bennet, 2003). Employers have always monitored employees to insure good work performanc... ... middle of paper ... ...ost Database. Ryan, D. & Watson, R. (2004). A healthier future; Workplace stress is increasingly recognized as a contributing factor to employee absence and illness. Investors in Health (IIH) is one response to the problem. Occupational Health, July 3, 2004, p. 20. Retrieved on October 21, 2004 from InfoTrac OneFile Database. Smith, S. (2002). Rethinking e-mail monitoring in today's workplace. Westchester County Business Journal, 41(12), p. 4. Retrieved October 19, 2004, from EBSCOhost Database. Stewart, K. B. (2003). USA Patriot Act unpatriotic. New York Amsterdam News, 94(29), p. 13. Retrieved on October 20, 2004, from EBSCOhost Database. Townsend, A. M. & Bennett, J. T. (2003). Privacy, technology, and conflict: emerging issues and action in workplace privacy. Journal of Labor Research, 24(2), p. 195. Retrieved October 19, 2004, from EBSCOhost Database.

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