By Jazzmine Davis
In Management Communication: A Case Analysis Approach, chapter 7 analyzes the fact that an Electronic Communication Privacy Act is in place to protect the individual rights of the employee. The Act clearly prohibits employers from sharing any emails to a third party, unless ordered by the court. The real issue here is that employers usually set policies that give expectations to employees to not use emails system for any personal use. Do they get followed? Of course not.
I have received emails from friends and family that are addressed from their company’s emails, and I have never witnessed anyone get into trouble for their actions. Most companies now have a monitoring system, which watches the activities that employees are engaging in daily. Some people may be prosecuted for their wrongdoings, and will not be able to defend their privacy with the Act. Some may be confused on why the Act is even in place.
Making sure that no conflict will arise comes along with employees ceasing the use of personal communication in the workplace. Some ways that can make this goal achievable is to sign up for a personal account, like Gmail, yahoo, or Hotmail. These accounts are free of charge and have all the email capabilities just as a work email system. Also, employees can stop this risk by not giving out their business email to family and friends. Keeping your work email only accessible to colleagues can make sure that all inbox messages are business-related.
Many employees have had monitoring systems find non business related emails, and fired because of it. Don’t put your job in jeopardy over personal communications. The Privacy Act does not defend your rights as you think it can so avoid this problem at all cost.