Instant Messages Create Legal Evidence


According to a SurfControl survey of workers based in the United Kingdom, 31 percent of nonmanagerial employees report using consumer-grade IM primarily because it enables them to engage in the type of activity they would otherwise steer clear of when using the company’s e-mail system. [14]

Presumably, these employees prefer IM because it’s rarely monitored or governed as strictly as e-mail. Of those surveyed, 26 percent work for an organization with no IM policy in place, and 34 percent don’t know if an IM policy exists at their place of business. [15]

Adding to employers’ liability concerns: 6 percent of U.S. employees surveyed by the Employment Law Alliance report engaging in ‘‘steamy’’ instant messaging at the office. Another 12 percent confess that they or their colleagues send pornographic e-mail to coworkers. [16]

Thanks to IM and e-mail, harassment disputes no longer are ‘‘he said–she said’’ scenarios. As stated previously, employee e-mail and instant messages create written business records that may be subpoenaed as evidence—for or against you—in the event of a workplace lawsuit.

[14]Christopher Saunders, ‘‘Study: Workplace IM Users Seek to Bypass IT Control,’’ InstantMessagingPlanet.com (January 9, 2004), www.instantmessagingplanet.com/security/article.php/3297671

[15]Ibid.

[16]Eric Wahlgren, ‘‘Looking for E-Love—at Work,’’ Business-Week Online (February 12, 2004), www.businessweek.com.






Instant Messaging Rules. A Business Guide to Managing Policies, Security, and Legal Issues for Safe IM Communication
Instant Messaging Rules: A Business Guide to Managing Policies, Security, and Legal Issues for Safe IM Communication
ISBN: 0814472532
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 241
Authors: Nancy Flynn
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