Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Use of social media

This week I received notification of changes to my conditions of employment. It seems that my HR [Human Remains?] department has finally realised that it is working in the 21st century, and 13 years too late they have issued guidance on the use of social media.  Most social media is currently banned by our firewall anyway, so I anticipate that this precedes a change in policy in that respect, but very few employees will have read the notice in any detail anyway, so who cares about that?

In suitably guarded terms they tell me how to be careful not expose the 'company' to public scrutiny.  In the following paragraph they list a few instances of what might be described as 'social media' and then follow that with a disclaimer that it is not an exclusive list.  For reference, I would say that their list was less non-exclusive, and more like negligent and lazy.  That's par for the course.  [And by saying that I probably risk dismissal in spite of my human right to free speech.  Am I an offender or a whistle-blower?  We all know how whistle-blowers get treated!]

Oddly enough, none of that seems surprising to me.  Now you can see why I have blogged pseudonymously for more than 2 years, and studiously avoided mentioning the name of my employer.

Incidentally, the same notice reminded me that I have no right to assume any confidentiality in my use of the internet from work.  Isn't that surprising?  In recent years I had always assumed that everything I type might be recorded in a database somewhere.  I never write blog posts from my work address - unlike many of my colleagues who do so at lunch time.

The company also claims that my use of mobile devices is subject to their control.  Perhaps they are pushing the boundaries there.  My use of my mobile devices inside or outside normal working hours is my business alone.  Working hours flex at their demand very freely, so I rather expect some reciprocity.

Failing an acknowledgement of that, all I can say there is 'dream on'.

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