Table of Contents

the naked employee: how technology is compromising workplace privacy
The Naked Employee: How Technology Is Compromising Workplace Privacy
byFrederick S. Lane ISBN:0814471498
AMACOM 2003 (288 pages)

What are the boundaries of employee privacy...and who should draw them? This timely book takes a probing look at the relationship between companies and their employees, and examines the social, legal and moral implications of employee monitoring.

Table of Contents
The Naked Employee—How Technology is Compromising Workplace Privacy
Chapter 1- It's My Property and I'll Spy If I Want To...
Chapter 2- Applying for a Job in a Digital and Wired World
Chapter 3- Identification: Your Name is Not Enough
Chapter 4- We're From the Government and We're Here to Help
Chapter 5- Watching What You Say and What You Do in the Workplace
Chapter 6- Hardware, Software, and Spyware
Chapter 7- Tracking Employees by Cell: The Biological Version
Chapter 8- Convenience and the Death of Privacy
Chapter 9- Breaching the Castle Walls
Chapter 10- In Defense of Employee Privacy Rights
List of Sidebars

Most people would be startled to know the many ways in which their employers are capable of intruding on privacy. Huge technological advances are steadily shrinking workers’ personal space, and it’s up to individuals to know which parts of their daily lives may fall under the corporate magnifying glass.

Corporations have the means to monitor e-mails, phone conversations, and Web-surfing, but that’s not all... Among other things, video surveillance, GPS tracking of company cars and even the use of infrared badges to determine employee location are methods that have come into play in the workplace. From increasingly intrusive hiring practices to continuous information gathering, The Naked Employee takes a probing look at the relationship between companies and their employees, and examines the social, legal and moral implications of various types of employee monitoring. Measuring the rights of the individual against the needs of the organization, this timely book investigates the vital privacy questions facing every employee.

The Naked Employee is packed with eye-opening, sometimes shocking, information as well as clear, concise explanations of relevant legislation and technologies. This timely book arms readers with the facts they need to defend themselves against the omnipresent corporate gaze.

About the Authors

Frederick S. Lane III is an attorney, author and expert witness specializing in the impact of technology on society. The author of Obscene Profits, he frequently speaks on law and computer-related topics.

The Naked Employee—How Technology is Compromising Workplace Privacy


American Management Association

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This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Lane, Frederick S.
The naked employee : how technology is compromising workplace privacy
/ Frederick S. Lane.
p.   cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-8144-7149-8

1. Employee rights—United States. 2. Privacy, Right of—United States. 3. Electronic monitoring in the workplace—United States. 4. Supervision of employees—United States. I. Title.

HF5549.5.E428L36 2003

331'.01'1—dc21 2003000312

Copyright 2003 Frederick S. Lane.

All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

This publication may not be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in whole or in part,
in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the prior written permission of AMACOM,
a division of American Management Association,
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

Printing number

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

To my sons, Benton and Peter Lane, with great love, and with thanks for their enthusiasm and encouragement


During the last two years, I have been fortunate to have the assistance of a large number of people in making this book a reality. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for all of the assistance I have received.

Initial thanks go to my agents, Christian Crumlish and Danielle Jatlow, at Waterside Productions in San Francisco, California. Both Christian and Danielle played a valuable role in helping me select the idea for this book from the hodgepodge that I handed to them two years ago. Danielle in particular played a critical role in helping me hone the idea, find a publisher, and shepherd the project to a successful conclusion. My thanks to both for their help, and to Dr. David Gardner for introducing me to them.

I was particularly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Ellen Kadin, the senior acquisitions editor at Amacom Books in New York. With unending patience, Ellen helped me refine the initial concept, adapt it to the changes that resulted from the events of 9/11, and see it through to a successful (if belated) conclusion. It has been a rewarding collaboration, and I am very thankful for her steady enthusiasm and encouragement.

In conversations via coffeehouse, phone, and e-mail, the direction of this project has been shaped by both friends and family. I'm fortunate to have had their interest, insights, suggestions, and support. Warm appreciation and thanks to: Warren and Anne Lane, Jessica Smith Lane, Brian Goetz, Bob Emmons, Adam Snyder and Sue Buckingham, Ted Pearcy and Tifani Greenwood, Amy Werbel, Christine Jensen, Christopher McVeigh, Karen Cody, and John Zeigle.

Two people deserve particular thanks for taking the time to read the entire manuscript for this book in the last feverish flurry of its creation. My thanks to Sarah Dunn for her stylistic suggestions and ongoing encouragement, and heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Madeline Waid for her valuable comments, including specifically the sections dealing with medical information.

As many writers have noted, editing is the aspect of book production that has taken the brunt of publisher cutbacks. I was fortunate that Amacom felt the project merited (and/or desperately needed) the attention of Janis Fisher Chan, who did a superb job of lopping off unnecessary boughs and posing tough but valuable questions about the text. This is a far better book than it would have been without her assistance, and I appreciate the obvious effort that she put into the editing process.

At AMACOM, my thanks to Christina McLaughlin and Mike Sivilli for their work in shepherding this book through the production process. I have also enjoyed my initial work with Irene Majuk, AMACOM's director of trade publicity & sales promotion, and look forward to our further efforts to promote the book. My thanks as well to AMACOM's President and Publisher, Hank Kennedy, for his support of this project, and for a very enjoyable meeting last spring.

I believe that environment plays an important role in the writing process and in that regard, I have been very fortunate to have found a marvelous environment. In Burlington, Vermont, Carrie and Mark MacKillop own and operate Muddy Waters, a wood-beamed coffeehouse on Main Street. The hours that I have spent drinking tea and writing at Muddy Waters have provided me with a valuable sense of community in the midst of a sometimes lonely process. I am very grateful to the two of them and to the entire Muddy Waters staff for their long-suffering patience. My thanks as well to my fellow coffeehouse travelers for their interest, encouragement, and often much-needed distraction.

Throughout the course of this project, the Web continued its phenomenal growth; the breadth of material now available online is staggering. One site in particular helped me wend my way through the potentially choking thicket of information:, which deserves tremendous kudos for the speed, smoothness, and simplicity of its operation. Although it was released relatively late in this project, it's clear that Google News has the potential to be a valuable aid to researchers in the future. In addition, there are a number of software programs that helped make this project far easier than it would have been otherwise. Despite the occasional frustrations, my sincere thanks to the programmers of Microsoft's Windows XP (operating system); Corel Wordperfect 10.0 (word processing), Micro-Logic's Infoselect 6.0 (an unbelievably useful information management program), Netscape Communicator 7.0 (Web browser), Yahoo! Mail, and Adelphia Communication's PowerLink (broadband cable access).