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Camera phones in the workplace

Date: 06/09/2006 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

Camera phones are everywhere.  Gartner Inc., a technology consulting firm believes that in 2006, four of every five cellular phones shipped annually in the U.S. and Western Europe will feature a built-in camera.  As a small business owner, you may not understand the significance to you, but you should.

Camera phones pose a potential threat to possible breaches of data security and employee privacy for your business.  While businesses that rely on trade secrets are most exposed, the threat of camera phones can also extend to client lists, product formulas or marketing strategies.  Also, employee privacy may be compromised because of camera phone abuse, and could potentially lead to harassment claims.

Business owners should take appropriate steps to prevent abuse and limited their legal liability.  One way to do this is to update your employee manual.  Make sure that it evolves along with technology.  It’s a simple and cost-effective thing to do.

Consider some type of global ban on camera phones such as:  a complete organization-wide ban; a ban in designated areas, such as product development facilities and restrooms; or a ban restricting camera phone use to breaks.  Once established, it is important to communicate the new rules to your employees through the use of e-mail, posting on employee bulletin boards, and/or staff meetings.

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