Privacy In the Workplace

The discussion must assume benign intent on the part of the employer. Otherwise, defensiveness will result.

Surveillance is installed to protect people and property. People can be protected from each other in various ways: to deter physical assault, other kinds of abuse, and to deter fraud (particularly one person using another person's computer). Another minor usage is to find people.

Property is protected in various ways. Presumably there is a deterrant effect on theft, and if theft does occur, the video record can assist with recovery.

Given all of that, why is video surveillance of the office workplace wrong? The reductionist argument is that the information could be abused to cause personal harm. The coherentist argument is simpler: it's just wrong. (Check out this article which explains the difference.

Employers have every right (even duty) to continuously and electronically inspect anything and everything having to do with the work. But what about inspecting *me*?

"On Bloustein's view it is possible to give a general theory of individual privacy that reconciles its divergent strands, and 'inviolate personality' is the social value protected by privacy. It defines one's essence as a human being and it includes individual dignity and integrity, personal autonomy and independence. Respect for these values is what grounds and unifies the concept of privacy."

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