Monitoring Employees on
Unethical or Good
By: Francisco Rose
Case Summary
Ethical reasons for monitoring
Fears & Problems
Summary of case
This case seeks to address the ethics of monitoring employees
use of networks or the necessity of monitoring it to improve the
companies business. While a controversial subject, the cons of
using companies resources for personal use far outweighs the
question of ethics. What was highlighted as important is having
a clearly written set of guidelines in the company’s policy , that
will protect the company and reduce their expenses from
employees usage and alert employees that they will be
monitored so that it would not be considered unethical.
What led to Monitoring
Increase in computer usage
Abuse of Company resources
Time spent online
25% unrelated to work
Company Fears
Sports sites
Retail Outlets
Real Problem
Online trading
Clogged network
On company time
Productivity loss
Real Problem – cont’d
Availability of Company’s Bandwidth
Loss of revenue
Overcharges to clients
Illegal Activities
Cost of expansion, time consuming
Company can be held liable
Negative publicity
Questions #1
Is it ethical for employers to simply check email on a fishing expedition, without having
any specific reason to suspect that the
employee has a problem that needs to be
Question # 2
If employees complain about an undue
invasion of privacy, how can management
determine whether the employee’s
complaints are legitimate?
Question # 3
Write a rationale that would ban all
employees personal use of the internet,
including e-mail and the Web.
Question # 4
Evaluate as an effective tool a zero tolerance
position (firing of employees any time an
Internet access rule is broken). If you do not
believe zero tolerance is an appropriate
policy, under what circumstances would you
support firing an employee for using the
Internet or email while on the job?
Question # 5
Write what you consider to be an effective
email and Web-use policy for a company.
Briefly describe the company and explain
your reasoning for its details.
What’s the Solution?
Complete Ban
Restricted time of use
Password access
Time restriction
Blocked site access
Doing it Ethically!
Written Guidelines
Explicit ground rules
Written consequences
Tailored to specific organization
Who has the right to access
No solution is problem free! Companies need
to have proper communication with
employees about their specific guidelines
and in return employees need to adhere to
those guidelines.