New technological developments established closer links between regional, national and international economies, and practically eliminated the conventional barriers between economic segments. For example, the rapid rise of transnational and transcontinental corporations owes a debt to the technological advances of the recent decades (Castells, 1996). The outreaching global economic importance of the new technologies has long prevented many from attempting to reveal the effects that occur on the lower level business. Dramatic transformation of the typical American workplace due to availability of the computers and Internet can probably be ranked number one among these effects.
The technological developments of today benefit employees and employers greatly helping them perform their duties and accomplish the goals more effectively than ever before. However, job-related potential of the Internet and e-mailing is only one aspect of their use in the workplace: these services also provide a number of opportunities for non-job related activities, such as visiting a news portal, sending a quick e-mail note to a relative or friend, etc.
The issue of employee privacy in the workplace has emerged as the result of the employers' concern with proper employee behavior while on the job. Monitoring of employees is one popular method for the employer to address this concern. Employee monitoring is the act of watching and monitoring employees' actions during working hours using employer equipment/property (Raposa and Mujtaba, 2003).
Increasing numbers of employers opt to use various devices to monitor activities of their employees during working hours. Keeping record of computer activities, excessive use of video and sound recording equipment, electronic eavesdropping and checking databases filled with personal information makes a number of employees reasonably feel that their right for privacy is brutally ignored by their employers. Although the employer's reasons for monitoring his employees are understandable, the issue of protecting employees' privacy in the workplace should also receive serious consideration, while the employees must take a stand for the privacy in the workplace
The privacy of personal information is very important to individual employees and to the community in general. Although the right to privacy is not explicitly protected by the Constitution, majority of American consider this right as a critically important aspect of individual freedom. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights fails to address many privacy issues the community is facing nowadays: nobody could envisage the numerous challenges and threats that would evolve due to the technological advances. The new technologies and inventions have drawn far ahead of the legislation protecting the right of individuals for privacy. Absence of the balanced and relevant law regulating privacy issues in the workplace has negative implications for both the employer and the employee.
A recent survey of employers and employees to estimate their opinions on the non-job related use of the Internet and e-mail