The Wal-Mart snoops | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Wal-Mart snoops

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2007 at 7:15 AM

The LA Times answered a question I had about Wal-Mart electronic snooping -- how it was that anybody could eavesdrop on conversations in the first place. Silly me. In today's world, somebody is always watching.

The company said it did not believe any laws were broken by the recordings because Wal-Mart notifies employees that it may monitor and record communications on company devices.

Under federal and Arkansas law, only one party to a recording — in this case Wal-Mart — needs to consent. Wal-Mart declined to release the names of any employees involved.

Workplace experts say most employees know that their employers can monitor their activities at the office. But technological advances mean it isn't likely that it's just the boss who is looking over a worker's shoulder.

"Someone who works in IT and who has a special relationship of trust may have access to all these communications," said Jan Handzlik, a Washington lawyer. "But that doesn't mean they can be looked at willy-nilly."

'Can' in the last sentence is clearly imprecise usage. Here's the NY Times extensive coverage, including Lee Scott's personal apology.

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