The world is more connected than ever before. This is just as true in the workplace. One of the best ways to evaluate your workplace’s performance, activity, and security is with the real-time and forensic analysis of your workplace. This is done through the evaluation of employee and guest behavior, usually through your information systems. This analysis can inspire backlash because to some it feels like an invasion of privacy.

This is why it is so crucial to add a “No Expectation of Privacy” clause to your information systems use policy. Today on PlexTrac.com we are going to hack into this clause. We will be talking about what the clause is, and why it is so important to establish in your enterprise.

 

What is the No Expectation of Privacy Clause?

The “No Expectation of Privacy Clause” almost explains itself; it is simply emphasizing that there should be no expectation of privacy on company networks. If employees believe there is an expectation of privacy, they will often behave differently than if they know their behavior could be analyzed.

These employees also believe while they are operating on their own individual account that their behavior will be confidential and private to them. While most businesses are not stalking through everyone’s search history, the option for companies to monitor employee activity is vital to evaluating the performance of the company and maintaining its security.

This is the backbone of the No Expectation of Privacy Clause. To protect themselves, a company has no options other than to invoke this clause in their information systems use policy.

 

This section may alarm employees who have never seen such a disclaimer, as it can conjure images of “big brother” watching their computer screen remotely and spying on them. It is important to clarify why invoking this clause is necessary for your company’s wellbeing and emphasize that they should be on board with the clause. People who operate in a professional and appropriate manner on company information systems should have nothing to worry about anyways. The clause is not invoked for businesses to police the everyday behavior of their employees, but rather to allow the company to perform self-analysis and better itself through a dissection of its network and the activities performed on it.

 

Why a No Expectation of Privacy Clause is Important

Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, it can be a crime for an organization to conduct surveillance or capture traffic on their networks if the users have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This concern can be alleviated by having all users acknowledge that they understand that the use of the systems will be monitored and that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy with regards to the content of their communications on the organization’s systems.

 

To prevent legal action and ensure the healthy dissection of networks, companies institute a No Expectation of Privacy Clause. Below is an example of how a company might explain the installation of this clause in their information system use policy:

 

Example of a No Expectation of Privacy Clause

“Detection, containment and eradication of malicious activity requires a diligent monitoring of our information systems to quickly address issues and minimize their impact on our people. To facilitate our ability to defend our information systems, (Company Name) provides no expectation of privacy with respect to the Company’s telecommunications, networking, or information processing systems (including, without limitation, any stored, created, or accessed computer files, information or communications, e-mail messages, text messages, and voices messages). All employee activity, or any files, information, or communications resident to or in use by information systems may be accessed, monitored, copied, disclosed, used, and saved by the Company at any time without notice to the employee.”

 

As you can see with this written example, the point of the No Expectation of Privacy Clause is ultimately to protect the employees and the company from harm from malicious sources. If explained in a similar fashion you should have minimal complaints from users, and your company should be able to operate and analyze its information systems to the full extent it requires.

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