Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Is Your Work Email More Likely To Be Monitored in Europe or the U.S.?

I would have missed that question, although I guess technically it depends where in Europe. That according to a study just released by the American Management Association and the ePolciy Institute as reported at eMarketer, Ever Get the Feeling... if you are an employee in Spain or France, there's about a 70% chance that the boss is checking your email regularly. In the U.S. only about 1/3 do it with regularity. Monitoring internet surfing is more common on both sides of the pond.

Given the significance of email and the productivity (and other) issues with surfing the internet, it doesn't seem likely either of these is going to become less frequently monitored. The next big monitoring issue would seem to be gps or similar monitoring. For employers with mobile employees, the technology will soon be there if it isn't already. If you don't think so, check out Tag Team: Tracking the Patterns of Supermarket Shoppers, from Wharton Knowledge, how grocers are now studying the route you wheel your cart through their store using RFID techonology.

But so far at least according to the study, less than 10% of employers have ventured off into these waters, according to the data in the AMA's press release on the study. But my guess -- it will be the topic of more and more discussions over the next year.

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