US Corporations Massively Read Employee Email

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News Posted: Thu, May 22 2008 1:47 PM

As we become a less and less private society, helped (or hindered,
depending on your point of view) by the web, data breaches, and the
like, the question actually should be raised: is anything really private any longer?

In its fifth-annual study of outbound e-mail and data loss prevention issues, Proofpoint found that large enterprises continue to incur risk from - and take action against - information leaks over outbound e-mail, as well as newer communications media such as blogs, message boards, media sharing sites and mobile devices.

Outbound e-mail remains a key source of risk for U.S. enterprises with a record 44% of surveyed companies reporting that they investigated an e-mail leak of confidential information in the past 12 months. 41% of the largest companies surveyed (those with 20,000 or more employees) reported that they employ staff to read or otherwise analyze the contents of outbound e-mail. 22% of these companies said they employ staff primarily or exclusively for this purpose.

So they actually employ people for the exclusive purpose of examining emails?  Can you imaging how boring that might be, and how many mundane emails they have to troll through?

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I actually rarely communicate through email.  Instant messaging for the win.  And a job going through email?  I think we found the world's most exciting job - sign me up.


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digitaldd replied on Fri, May 23 2008 7:53 AM

Well if you work for a company and they supply you with a computer to do your job its their computer and thus they can legally monitor anything you do. same goes for your phone, interent access, etc.. so it is legal for them to record phone calls on the company phone system and fully monitor everything you do on the internet. Every company has their own policies regarding this stuff of course.


In smaller companies managers have full access to the folks they manage mailboxes. larger ones have thought police who are required to sift through webproxy logs and email reports for leaks and other bad stuff. These are the type of jobs that often are part of HR but are rarely publicized even to the IT dept. 


I ran into a guy at a trade show who was interested in some kind of wifi blocking paint to prevent employee's from using the free-wifi from the bookstore accross the street to goof off.

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