June 07, 2006

IT and User Behaviour

Should IT administrators, IT Managers and CIOs be legally responsible for monitoring the use of IT systems by users? More especially should they be held to account for users not following company standards and national laws governing the use of keyboards, mice etc. There have been many cases in Europe whereby users have taken their employers to court over many things. Some of these are more than justifiable where organisations flout the laws. However, occasionally a case arises where a user sues their employer because they, for instance, used their PC for many hours a day without a break. Now if the employer is forcing this work pattern to take place they should be sued but if the user does so without any coercion, who should take responsibility?

The company has a duty to ensure that its staff work in accordance with the law and should take steps beyond this to educate its employees on best practice working conditions. However the question then arises should the employer then arrange to monitor the work pattern of individuals to point out when they are not following guidelines? Or is user privacy of greater importance?

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