According to a survey released last week by Forrester Consulting and Proofpoint, an enterprise IT security company, companies are stepping up their efforts to monitor employee e-mail, with 41 percent of large U.S. companies employing people to read staff members' e-mail. This was up from 39 percent the year before.
It sounds from the preliminary data that these companies feel they have good reason to: 26 percent of senior IT staff at large corporations say that their company has terminated employees in the last year for e-mail policy violations, 34 percent said employee e-mail has been subpoenaed in the last 12 months, and 27 percent said that they have investigated the loss of confidential information on mobile devices.
Yet even with these sound arguments for snooping, what is surprising is that budget-minded CIOs would consider allocating employee time to read other employees' e-mail a good expense, especially when there are so many newer, and more efficient, technology solutions to the problem, such as the growing budget allocation for e-mail archiving and e-discovery software.
Furthermore, wouldn't having software monitor what goes across employees' monitors seem a lot less "creepy" than an IT guy two rows down doing the same?