What is the status of laws to give me more privacy in the workplace?

Since the 1980s, there have been three major attempts to push electronics privacy laws through Congress, said Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute.

But “employers don’t want the law changed,” he said in an interview. There is currently nothing on the horizon to increase employees’ privacy rights at work.

What’s next in monitoring technology?

There are companies that offer to embed radio-frequency identification chips under the skin of employees, but three states have laws prohibiting employers from requiring workers to do so.

Some futurists talk about “wiggle monitors” that measure how much you move around at your desk, and thus how engaged you are in your job.

Employers are increasingly monitoring work computers, even when they’re being used at home, to see how much telecommuters are actually working.

They’re also asking employees to wear badges that monitor how often they get up from their desks, the tone of their conversations and how many people they socialize with during the day, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Is there any way to avoid being monitored at work?

Privacy-rights experts encourage employees to bring their personal devices to work and use them whenever possible for personal interactions, because employers cannot access those devices.

However, if you’re using your employer’s Wi-Fi network, your employer can access those messages. Better to use your cellphone provider’s network to send personal information.

Some privacy experts point out that there is one advantage to ever-increasing technology in the workplace -- it’s possible to monitor the people at the top as easy as it is the people at the bottom. After all, David Petraeus’ affair would not likely have been made public had the FBI not been able to access his emails.


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