The most popular and comprehensive Open Source ECM platform
By Dick Weisinger
While less than 10 percent of companies now are monitoring employee use of social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and others, that is likely to change over the next few years. Gartner predicts that 60 percent of companies will be monitoring how their employees use social media by 2015. Employers are interested in monitoring the posting of comments from employees about the company. Companies monitor employees for reasons that include brand management, sentiment analysis and reputation purposes. In addition, social media checks are often being run on candidates before job offers are made.
The process of monitoring employees is becoming easier as increasing numbers of surveillance products and services are available which allow companies to keep tabs on their employee internet activities.
Andrew Walls, research vice president at Gartner, said that ”The growth in monitoring employee behaviour in digital environments is increasingly enabled by new technology and services. Surveillance of individuals, however, can both mitigate and create risk, which must be managed carefully to comply with ethical and legal standards. Security monitoring and surveillance must follow enterprise information assets and work processes into whichever technical environments are used by employees to execute work.”
The National Labor Relations Board has publicly declared a policy that employees should have the right to be able to engage in online discussions about work conditions and even complaints about their employer or working conditions on social media. A recent NLRB statement said that “the NLRB has filed unfair labor practice charges against employers who have social media policies that the NLRB felt might be construed as ‘chilling’ employees’ rights to engage in concerted activity.”
John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, said that ”actually much of what is discussed [in the Gartner report] is unwarranted snooping in people’s personal lives. There is no valid reason for it and companies that engage in such activities should be called out for their unethical activity.”