Ethics in an Intranet Culture Intranet Culture Intranet Network that companies use to share files, utilize websites, and collaborate. Usually cannot be accessed from the Internet. Intranet Culture
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Network that companies use to share files, utilize websites, and collaborate. Usually cannot be accessed from the Internet.
The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, and behaviours that the members of a company use to cope with their world and with one another.
It is estimated that by the year 2002 more than 88 million employees in
U.S. alone will be connected to the Internet through their company Intranet.
This will allow employees to gather information and correspond with
clients more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
The introduction of the Intranet to the company toolbox comes with many
dangers. These dangers pose a troublesome paradox for executives across
America. On one hand, companies have to much to gain from the Internet
to banish it from the workplaces. At the same time, there is far too much
to lose by granting employees free reign.
The Intranet is setup with a firewall to protect
the institution from “outside harm” but must
also protect itself from “harm from within”.
Ethical responsibility must be part of the
Intranet culture to help inform and provide
guidelines to “insiders”.
Email is a tremendously powerful communications tool, used by
millions of people in thousands of positive ways. Unfortunately, such
a powerful tool has the potential to be used in other, less productive,
Can be used to breach security of an Intranet
- by disgruntled employees who can distribute company secrets through email
- by accidents such as attaching important documents to emails
Total collaboration of emails
- Men are the worst offenders for trying to kindle an online office romance, with 27% admitting to using email for “flirting in the office” compared with 13% of women
- Gossiping about colleagues online was the second-biggest waste of working time by men
- Among women the biggest email abuse was “planning social life with friends,’’ followed by contacting brothers and sisters and gossiping about other staff
- 13% of men and seven percent of women admitted using email at work to forward Internet sex links
- Other misuses of email included forwarding jokes to colleagues and seeking new employment.
Email can be “piggybacked”
Knock Knock Who's there ! Adder ! Adder who ? Adder you get in here ?
So what’s the harm in a little personal surfing every now and then? Actually the costs and consequences associated with non-related Internet use are staggering. They hit corporations most commonly in three forms:
- productivity costs
- bandwidth loss
- legal liability
- security breaches
On any given day a survey reveals 18% of employees visit the Internet 10 or more times for nonwork-related activity
If not working, then what are they doing?
72% read the news
37% search for another job
34% check stock reports
28% coordinate social events
12% visit adult sites
Downloading software from the company
- can be held liable under both civil and criminal law
- can seek to stop you from using its software immediately and can seek monetary damages
- the copyright owner may then choose between actual damages, which includes the amount it has lost because of your infringement as well as any profits attributable to the infringement, and statutory damages, which can be as much as $150,000for each program copied
- the government can criminally prosecute you for copyright infringement, if convicted, you can be fined up to $250,000, or sentenced to jail for up to five years, or both
Uploading personal software to the
company computer can present a wide
range of problems to a company
Nonwork-related surfing clogs digital pipelines
- Workers sending or receiving personal emails with large attachments
- Servers routinely crash on Valentine’s day and Christmas due to load
- Spam, chain letters, “junk” mail compound problem
Ethics policies are still evolving or even non-existent in most companies.
IAP’s (Internet Access Policy) or
AUP’s (Access Use Policy) are laying the groundwork for ethical
guidelines in dealing with the company Intranet and Internet.
As the number of employee connections to the Intranet increase, so does
the awareness that ethical policies are needed to combat abuse.
At a minimum, every company that provides Internet access for its employees should have a detailed
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
in place. Similar to other company policies, the AUP should clearly define
sets the standard
promote a comprehensive and consistent ethics program
monitor performance of other employees
respond to helpline calls
toll-free confidential help
employees need to know and understand laws, regulations, and policies
applicable to their job duties
Lack of control or policy with regard to the Intranet can affect
the bottom line of a company
survey their company Intranet
- productivity loss in the workplace
Cyber-slacking wreaks havoc on the bottom line.
Equation to figure out fully burdened cost(FBC) of an employee:
1. FBC = 2(mean hourly wage)
2. Then multiply FBC by Internet usage(in hours)
3. Finally multiply by # of employees with Internet access
mean =$16.54 per hour
1. FBC = ($16.54 * 2) = $33.08
2. $33.08 * 1.5(hours)
3. 82.7 * 500(Intranet employees) = $16,540 per day cost to the company
Corporate Networks Are Paying the Price.Wasting time online accounts for thirty to forty percent of all lost productivity in the workplace.
Nonwork-related Intranet use can cost companies dearly in the courtroom
- could lead to potentially embarrassing and expensive lawsuit
- threatens credibility of company
- company unity and trust is at risk
1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people's computer work.
3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people's files.
4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
6. Thou shalt not use or copy software for which you have not paid.
7. Thou shalt not use other people's computer resources without authorization.
8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people's intellectual output.
9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write.
10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect.
This Act regulates the processing of employees' personal data by employers.
The Data Protection Commissioner has issued a draft Code of Practice in which she deals with monitoring of emails and internet use by employers. This appears to impose stricter limitations on employers' ability to monitor than the Regulations, but is likely to change to be brought into line with them.
This Act makes it a criminal offence to send material to another person which is likely to ‘deprave or corrupt’ the recipient. There are tighter provisions relating to the handling of child pornography, under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Protection of Children Act 1978.
The contract of employment imposes an implied duty on the employer to act in a manner that will not undermine its duty of ‘trust and confidence’. If the employer is unreasonable in its investigation of suspected internet and email misuse, it could be in breach of this duty, which could entitle the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal.
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Race Relations Act 1976
These Acts outlaw sex and race-based discrimination. The sending of an email by an employee (or even possibly someone from outside the company) which has sexual or racial content, may amount to an act of sexual or racial harassment for which the employer could be liable, unless it has taken steps to reduce the risk of such emails beingdistributed.
(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000These Regulations dilute the requirements of RIPA and allow certainmonitoring in the course of legitimate business practice. They allow email (and telephone) monitoring without consent for, among others, the following reasons:
-Quality control monitoring
-Combating unauthorized use of the system (for instance, investigating suspected misuse of email or internet)
-Determining whether the communication is business-related (this allows an employer to inspect the inbox of an employee who isabsent from work, in order to check whether any business-relatedemails have come in).