don’t understand why so many people are stunned that they have
limited amounts of privacy. Makes no sense.
not talking about areas where we should have privacy. And, I don’t
think I’m talking about overall and well-founded expectations
of privacy… though that, I believe, is a tricky path to navigate
(and one I’m likely going to find myself on).
That’s not what causes my disbelief.
talking about when people seemed to be filled with a sense of
entitlement over their privacy. Situations where I think a fair
amount of suspicion and care should be in order instead of blindly
worked at a couple of places where company e-mail addresses and
cellphones have been issued to staff members in specific positions.
Now… I know you won’t believe this, but…
employees—not an isolated one or two, but fairly high numbers—have
been stunned over the years to learn that each company had records
of text messages, phone calls, e-mails and so on. And, many of
these employees expressed shock that the company that paid the
phone bill actually wanted the employee to limit use of the company
cell phone to company business. As a bonus, they were enraged
that they might face disciplinary action for things such as booking
vacations and surfing web sites during working hours.
that faulty reasoning some people have from their first steps
into stupidity twists into amazing scenarios…
are employees that have used company cell phones and e-mail for
conducting job searches. And not even a borderline defensible
or potentially even understandable job search. Re-locating… company
closing… just isn’t working out and everyone knows the time to
move on has arrived job search. Nope. Stabbing the current employer
in the back, beyond the hazy area and fully into an act of betrayal
job search. I’ll tell you, it takes a special kind of stupidity
to be sticking your tongue out at a business while running for
the door, and on your resume listing company-provided details
as contact information.
know of a woman that was shocked when she received a written disciplinary
notice for using her desk phone for personal calls and her work
computer for sending personal e-mails. She told me both had happened,
repeatedly. She even went shopping on the internet. Still, she
didn’t think of the incidents were fair for disciplinary action
since, as she explained it. she only did things like this during
what she declared was personal time (for instance, before her
shift officially started or coming back early from her lunch break).
had a bit of a habit of speaking too loudly when on the phone,
which means that about a dozen of us working near her knew these
phone calls took place throughout the workday. And yet, even if
we wanted to ignore that and allow her the outside the workday
hours or while on a break argument, I’m missing where there is
a privacy defense applies on company issued equipment and services.
stories can spin off into the creatively absurd. And I’m guessing
you know they do, without my having to produce more.
issue though comes from the why. Why do these people expect privacy
in all sorts of circumstances where none is guaranteed?
you ever ordered anything out of a catalog? Let me guess, before
the box with your order arrived, your mailbox was flooded by a
tidal wave of catalogs from that company as well as companies
you had never heard of before. Yes?
are, at the foundation of all of this, collectively idiots. Waving
our firsts in the air for the protection of confidentiality (while
barely reading the first four words of any terms of service before
mumbling “yeah yeah yeah” and clicking “agree”).
a whole we put phone numbers and e-mail addresses in unprotected
posts/areas of Facebook, while clicking “I accept” for Google
and Microsoft and others faster than we could say the words. And
still surprised when they know what we’re doing, say after we
use our search engine of choice and then for weeks the subjects
of our search seem to be the driving force in sidebar advertisements.
a concept that says that as a whole, and even as individuals,
we’re often willing to sacrifice some of our personal protection
for the sake of convenience. I think there’s a lot of truth in
that. But it’s more…
are cameras at the ATMs… cameras in the convenience stores… cameras
in every cell phone… cameras cameras cameras all over. We’ve reached
a point where we both know microphones and videos are there virtually
from the moment we exit our house, and yet they’re so common we’ve
just become accustomed to it and don’t care. Nothing builds on
complacency like a combination of apathy and dulled senses.
we’re surprised. Amazed when stories emerge about companies using
the information for crafting ways to pitch products or frame news
presentations or any of a number of other things.
best thing I can tell you is to always believe the camera is on…
always believe you’re being watched. It may not help in general,
and it may not be true, but it will at least raise your awareness
level a bit (and stop you from ordering shoes on company time).