It is ethical to “spy” on the employee’s use of the computer at work. In fact, most ethicists would agree to monitor an employee’s computer usage, provided that monitoring is set to appropriate boundaries. Employee performance is one of the most important purposes of monitoring an employee’s use of his computer at work. Personal Internet usage may be relative to work productivity. If an employee spends his time in personal Internet use, he loses time that is supposedly used for doing work that the company is paying him for. Another concern is the non-business utilization of time and equipment and the factor of leaking propriety information to company competitors. Employees may also use the computer and the Internet to do online shopping, research personal issues, play online games, download pornography and gamble online. This gives “just” cause for the employer to monitor his employees’ Internet usage through email and web access. This may be viewed as “watching over” by the employer rather than an “invasion” of privacy of the employees. Employers have due right to monitor employees e-mail and Internet usage because it is done during company time and on the company’s premises. Such surveillance will ensure that employees are indeed working.


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