Corporations consisting of a great amount of members have an ever-growing demand for policies that enforce and control the communication within the corporation. With the usage of internet, communication has become easy and efficient but the issue of privacy and inappropriate content has given rise to the need of closer examination of corporate e-mailing policies.
In New York there is a great amount of businesses and corporations operating all over the world. The communication via email is a common occurrence but it is crucial to make sure that no laws are being violated in relation to the content of the messages. In the case of Stratified Custom Manufacturing it would be hard to pinpoint the precise laws that were violated. Each company has its own policies and rules that monitor harassment or inappropriate emails. The law states that any communication via email or any other medium, within a corporation, must be free of any sexual/racial harassment or discrimination. The communications should abide by the rules and policies of the company based on harassment and discrimination policies (Flynn and Kahn, 2003). Even though there are privacy policies set forth in the emails, it is the managers’ responsibility to remind employees to keep in mind the fact that it might be viewed by someone who it was not intended for. This is what happened in the case of Stratified Custom Manufacturing. The privacy law states that any communication carried on between two people is left as private correspondence and it is the responsibility of the party who has been offended against, to file a claim. If no such claim is filed, than the communication stays private. But at the same time any communication within a corporation must be treated as public, in a case where such information becomes known. There is always a risk that provocative details could harm the reputation of the company without person’s intent to do so and that is why it is necessary to avoid anything that could be used negatively against the corporation or individual themselves. Unfortunately the courts have been unable to define precisely what is implemented in adult or offensive content, except for the obvious race, gender, etc. discrimination. It is a very subjective matter, unless it is explicitly related to images or film that is inappropriate (Flynn and Kahn, 2003).
The problem with the implementation of the Discovery project was that the company had a policy, which required the deletion of any voice messages or emails. When the law requested the messages, they have already been deleted, making the delivery of any evidence impossible. This is a case where the company must reassess the policies regarding its email usage and the retention of information. First of all the personnel must be familiarized with the regulations and policies pertaining to the usage of emails. If the policies have been outdated than the management must come up with new policies covering the whole spectrum of possible outcomes. The revision of policies has to be specific as to address all the issues but at the same time if it is too specific, then there will be cases, which by default will be omitted. On the other hand if the revision focuses on general policies, it would be unclear how to rate a certain situation and how to deal with it in a productive manner (Natale, 1998).
When dealing with such sensitive information there are several ways to avoid unwanted discoveries. There has to be an implementation of education sessions that familiarizes the workers with the confidentiality criteria and ways to protect the information. Also the IT department would set up software directed to encrypt and protect any passwords or access data. At the same time it is the responsibility of the employees to come up with a secure and hard to break password. A constant update of the protecting software should be set up, to keep in pace with the ever changing spying programs. Another way to keep the data secure is to assign work email accounts to an outside company. This would provide secure access for the staff from all over the world. The storage and deletion of information requires specific attention. The data should be saved on one devise and in one location, with secure measures, where as storing information in different places will increase the chance of its discovery. It is also important that there is a specific department responsible for the update of information relating to court cases and their outcome (Yelton, 2012). As there are many situations which are unpredictable, case law plays an important role in determining the criteria for future similar situations. There must always be a constant and regulated communication between the company and the board of directors. The corporation should always notify of any changes in the security policies, as well as update on the reasons why these regulations are in place. An equally important point to consider is the possibility of any governmental checks that could arise.
From the above analysis it is obvious that there is communications etiquette that is present in the company. It is everyone’s responsibility to stay professional and avoid anything that might compromise the person or the company.
Flynn, N., & Kahn, R. (2003). E-mail rules. New York, United States: Nancy Flynn and Randolph Khan, Esq.
Natale, S. (1998). Business education and training: A value-laden process. Maryland, United States: University Press of America.
Yelton , J. (2012). Data security, e-discovery and corporate boards. Corporate Board, 33(195), 6-10.