Employees’ Privacy in the Internet Age – Towards a New Procedural Approach
Tammy Katsabian, Employees’ Privacy in the Internet-Age – Towards a New Procedural Approach 40 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 203 (2019)
53 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2018 Last revised: 21 Jul 2020
Date Written: March 29, 2018
The internet age has created a crisis in the notion of employees’ privacy. New smart surveillance technologies, the phenomenon of online shaming and the sharing of vast amounts of information on social media sites have together changed the concept of employees’ privacy and created theoretical and practical dilemmas. In order to accurately grasp this privacy dilemma, the article references sociological literature on internet and society and sheds new light on the legal discourse concerning employees’ privacy.
Based on the sociological discourse, I reveal a disparity between the notion of privacy in professional literature and on the ground. While modern interpretations of privacy may appear to have broadened its scope in order to incorporate various events as part of the right to privacy, in practice it seems the opposite has occurred. Due to new technological capabilities alongside modifications in the behavior of society and the individual, it appears that the concept of an employee’s privacy has become severely outdated, and it is often difficult to determine whether or not there was a privacy violation.
The article argues that this disparity needs to be addressed by adding a procedural protection to the right to privacy. The article then provides concrete, applicable procedural rules, which can assure a more predictable and stable protection of employees’ privacy in the internet age.
Keywords: Labor-Rights, Internet, Privacy, Law and Technology, Law and Sociology, Labor-Law, Procedural-Rights
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