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Naked Employee, The: How Technology Is Compromising Workplace Privacy Hardcover – May 30, 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reading Lane's book is enough to make any employee paranoid. The attorney and author of Obscene Profits relentlessly lays out the many and varied ways employers legally spy on employees. Web surfing? Workers are being watched. E-mail? That, too. From video cameras to ID cards to background checks, employees' lives are basically open books to whoever is paying their salary. Lane's style is more clinical than impassioned, laying out the hard facts instead of editorializing. But readers may wish he would rant a bit more about all this 1984-style surveillance. His subjects range from computer forensics (whatever you delete isn't really deleted) to the routine monitoring of communications ("roughly one-half of all employers in this country periodically review their employees' e-mails"). To his credit, Lane does sum the book up with a defense of workplace privacy, urging Congress to get with the times. Without better federal legislation, he writes, this "intrusive examination of how we live our lives" is bound to expand into every area of our existence.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"offers a highly readable and informative explanation of the significant erosions in workplace privacy" -- Atribute to Privacy and American Business Volume 10 Number 7

...a fact packed, eye-opening summary of several technological advances in workplace monitoring of employee behavior.. -- Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1st edition (May 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814471498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814471494
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,557,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A few months ago, I applied for an adjunct position -- teaching one course, online from my home computer. To my amazement, the private "alternative" university demanded a background check. I said thanks but no thanks -- and only now do I understand what happened.
Lane, author of Naked Employee, explains that companies fear risks associated with loose cannon employees, although he doesn't use those words. They risk embarrassment, lawsuits and more. And now, when it's so easy to order background checks, why take those risks?
If you resist, says Lane, prospective employers won't think you're principled; they'll think you're hiding something. After all, background checks revealed that fifty percent of resumes submitted to a major search firm included falsified information, ranging from imaginary degrees to exaggerated responsibilities.
Once you're hired, you can be subjected to physical exams and ongoing surveillance. Lane reviews the relative invasiveness of hair, blood and urine tests. Uniforms can be equipped with devices to prevent theft and track your whereabouts. Personal phone calls can be monitored long enough to discover they're personal -- a good two to three minutes.
As I read this book, I grew more and more horrified. Lane stays focused on what's happening today, only briefly suggesting ways to frame the problem on a broader scale. For instance, at the very end of the book, he notes that providing health insurance gives employers a solid basis for questioning employee lifestyles, on and off the job.
In a much earlier book, JobShift, WIlliam Bridges called for individuals to become independent contractors rather than employees. He argued that separating health insurance from employment would protect our privacy as well as our physical health.
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Format: Hardcover
Technology has made it easier for employers to monitor and investigate employees' behavior - in turn, affecting morale and productivity. The Naked Employee offers an analysis of how technology is compromising workplace privacy, with chapters covering the social, legal and moral implications of different types of employee monitoring systems. From issues of employee privacy to the nuts and bolts of current investigative surveillance systems, this is packed with both social analysis and business insights.
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