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The business costs of failing to preserve employees’ privacy are rising. Recent Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) decisions illustrate this. In two cases, employers were ordered to pay back wages to terminated employees whose privacy had been violated by their employers’ mishandling of human resources issues.

Employers worldwide are being held accountable innew and increasingly complex ways when it comes to data privacy and, as we learn in this month’s article about German companies’ surveillance activities, even an organization’s top executives are not immune to the repercussions of privacy faux pas.

The AIRC decisions and the sanctions levied against Deutsche Bahn and Lidl executives, among others, underscore the importance of handling workplace privacy appropriately.
In this month’s newsletter, we continue our employee privacy series with a look at today’s here-and-now human resources issues, employee monitoring, and how organizations that manage group health plans should prepare for the new regulatory requirements of the U.S. HITECH Act.

On a sunnier note, those of us in the northern hemisphere are enjoying summer and its requisite pursuits—downtime, baseball, books…  Since we know many of you enjoy a good read, we polled IAPP members to find out what privacy and non-privacy prose they have stuffed in their beach bags this summer. As you turn the pages, you’ll find out what they are reading, what books have impacted their careers, and what they think you should read. Look for the summer reading “bookmarks” within and, if you like these, join us in book club sessions at the Privacy Academy in September.

J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP
Executive Director, IAPP

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