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Ethics Online: What A Good Internet Policy Looks Like

Patricia Harned | June 12, 2007

OK, compliance and ethics directors: what would you do if your e-mail monitoring system uncovered a romantic relationship between two employees?Or what would you do if you discovered an employee was using his office computer to post corporate information—though completely banal—on his personal blog?

E-mail and Internet usage—not to mention newer technologies such as blogs and news feeds—have quickly become technological requirements in today’s business world. Policy and corporate practice, however, has not always kept up with technology, especially in managing e-mail and Internet files. The Electronic Discovery Act that took effect late last year confirmed what many executives have already been learning on the job: If a company provides e-mail accounts and Internet access for employees, it had better also have a plan defining their use, monitoring, and storage. Failure to do so can create a bevy of problems from legal liability to invasion...

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