Posted in Employee Privacy


Why Employers Need to Carefully Approach Employee Healthcare Data

By Kirk J. Nahra, CIPP/US

The recent controversy about AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s comments on employee healthcare expenses reflects ongoing confusion about the actual and appropriate rules for employers and the protections for employees concerning their health care information. As employers become more involved in the overall management of employee wellness and overall healthcare expenditures, this confusion is likely to remain. Employers need to very carefully consider their approach to employee healthcare information and how they will act effectively and intelligently in this controversial and risky area.

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Employee Privacy

I Spy With My Corporate Eye: The Employee Services Conundrum

By Ruby A. Zefo, CIPP/US, CIPM

It’s a conundrum: companies want employees to be satisfied with their corporate services, but great user experiences in this context can require a certain amount of employee tracking that could affect employees’ views about workplace privacy. Even M doesn’t really want to know whether James Bond prefers his martini shaken, not stirred, but it may be incidental to the CCTV cameras in the MI6 café that keep assassins at bay! Companies have to manage potentially complex trade-offs between employee privacy, company security, and user experience, including services such as BYOD programs, context-aware apps and even call monitoring for quality assurance.

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From the Tool Belt

Policing Your Own People

By Kirk J. Nahra, CIPP/US

The recent reports of terminations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following inappropriate review of celebrity medical records should serve as a reminder to every healthcare entity—and any company with sensitive information. You must police your own people. They need access to information to do their own job, but history has shown that they can’t be trusted entirely. You need a plan to make sure...

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Getting More Privacy Pros Into HR

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

Last Sunday, in The Globe and Mail’s “Nine to Five” column, an employee working for a U.S.-based public company expressed concerns about having to submit to a mandatory criminal background check. The employee had been at the company for 15 years, and until recently, only new employees would have to consent to a background check. But now,

All employees must undergo a background check annually. It’s framed as a request, but since I said I don’t want to participate, several levels of management have spoken to me about getting it done. Initially the company said failure to comply might result in employees not being involved in certain government contract work.

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