Many U.S. Workers Favor E-Mail Monitoring, Research Shows

By Matt Hines Print this article Print

Some American workers feel that their employers should be allowed to scan their electronic communications to protect against data leaks, according to a research report conducted by Iowa State University and Palisade Systems.

Despite the implied submission of personal privacy, most workers at U.S.-based companies believe that their employers should be allowed to monitor electronic communications to help protect against misuse of sensitive data.

According to a report published by researchers from Iowa State University and network security software maker Palisade Systems, 100 percent of the workers the group surveyed at U.S.-based corporations said it was appropriate for companies to scan their employees' e-mail, instant messaging and other communications systems to ensure that people were not inappropriately sharing information with outsiders.

The study specifically asked if companies should be allowed to scan electronic communications for proprietary business data such as customers' personally identifiable information, including Social Security numbers, bank account data or credit card numbers.

By comparison, the study, which is based on interviews conducted with people working in 171 organizations in the government, university and commercial sectors, found that only 11 percent of survey respondents working for government agencies and 31 percent of people working for universities felt that employee communications should be monitored.

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This article was originally published on 2006-09-20
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