However, the internet has also been of significant advantage to us in many ways. Where many of its services have benefited us in numerous ways, the email has had a significant character, besides other uses, in the commerce and trade sector. Email has proved to be the information and communication "Backbone" in most of the organizations (ColdSpark, 2007). It has been successfully used to facilitate the day to day business activities & processes, shared working environment, document transfer, corporate communication (both internal and external) and memorandums. According to the statistics, more than 35 percent of critical business information is found in companies is transferred via emails. Such a high figure means a high stance of dependency on the email service(s) and thus the nature of the content that is being transferred through these emails has actually forced many organizations to re-evaluate the significance of managing the email throughout its whole lifecycle. (ML Inc., 2008)
Traditionally, the common practice was to retain the backup of all emails as per the IT department's needs and cost factor. Now the environment has changed and therefore we need to manage this service as a strategic resource to take the best out of it. Email is considered now as a formal means of communication for any company, specially in a healthcare organizations where patients' reports are treated with utmost confidentiality, which is no different from the traditional way of distributing the corporate information on the companies' official letter head. This means that organizational or corporate emails are also bounded to abide by legal obligations of the state.
Organizational Aspect of Email Privacy
Understanding the whole process of the collection, classification, organizing and sharing of emails can be a complex as well as cumbersome time consuming and costly activity. An organization such as ours, which is part of the medical and health care industry, is faced with several issues regarding the email usage of our employees and stakeholders.
Employees' use of electronic mail during business hours is a common characteristic of this era's organization (Cobb, 2002). Nurses, attendants and receptionists tend to either sleep on the job or use email for their entertainment during late hours. The facility that the employers provide to ease the means of communication with doctors and other staff, is usually being used for personal purposes. No doubt the email serves to increase efficiency of the today's work environment because it is such a low cost means of providing a channel, simple and easy to use service. It also helps in the attainment of the paperless environment in many organizations to a very large extent. However, despite the several technological aspects of the email service, it is also creating severe concerns and problematic issue regarding the privacy of employees.
Why Monitor Employee's Emails
Employees need to be monitored for several reasons (Agrawal, 2002). In our medical centre, for example, the employees are responsible for maintaining personal profiles of patients containing both health-related and some times other relevant