Corporate snoops

Should employers be able to track everything that their staff say online? Whatever the rights or wrongs, a new product will apparently enable them to do just that.

Social Sentry is a tool marketed by a company called Teneros, and its demonstration at a recent technology event has made some people uneasy. It’s apparently intended to enable employers to stop staff leaking sensitive information like financial results via email. But it’s so powerful it can track what an individual employee is posting on social media sites, even if he or she is using different identities.

It has long been established that an employee does not have a right to privacy when posting at work, using the corporate network. But privacy should be a given when posting from home or from a mobile phone. The question is, will this privacy be respected? If an employer suspects a particular individual of passing on restricted information, my guess is probably not.

And of course there will be a temptation to keep tabs on individuals, in order to understand how motivated they are, and to deal with issues before they arise. Arguably a business could make a respectable case for that. But it would still be an invasion of privacy, and potentially actionable in law. No one wants their boss looking over their shoulder when they aren’t at work.

More information here.

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