Use of company-owned electronic devices can create many pitfalls for unsuspecting business owners. Company devices are often used for personal communications. In some instances, employees use company devices to look for and obtain their next job, or plan their exit from the company.
Absent hiring someone to sit behind each employee and observe their computer use each day, it is difficult for an employer to monitor an employee’s use of company devices. At a bare minimum, companies should have a policy that employees have no expectation of privacy when using company devices. Such a policy protects the business’s right to intercept, and review, any and all communications sent from company electronic devices. Eliminating any claim by employees that their personal communications on company devices are entitled to any expectation of privacy is critical to an employer’s ability to effectively monitor, and supervise use of company electronic devices.
Owners should not abuse the right, however, maximizing the ability to access information on company devises is essential to have in the event circumstances arise that create the need.