Porn proliferates in the workplace

The recent trend towards the consumerisation of IT and bringing personal devices to the workplace may inadvertently be giving rise to inappropriate personal online behaviour creeping into the workplace

There are several recent further examples of the proliferation of pornography in the workplace which reinforce the view that the problem persists and that vigilance is required:

  • Prison staff use work internet to view porn

Five prison staff in New Zealand are caught accessing sexually explicit and offensive material online at work. Some of the offensive material received was circulated by staff in emails using the prison’s corporate email system.

  • Police Department investigates officers suspected of surfing inappropriate material

Fifteen police employees in Vancouver were caught surfing websites and sending emails containing inappropriate, offensive or pornographic images. Aside from the loss of productivity, the viewing of pornographic material by police officers at work raises concerns about the culture within the Police department.

  • Bank manager sacked over porn mail

An Irish Bank manager loses his job for allegedly sending pornographic emails takes employer to an Employment Appeals Tribunal asserting that dozens of other employees received and forwarded emails similar to those he is alleged to have sent, none of whom have been disciplined and some actually promoted.

At one level it can be argued that these individuals should have known better as all the organisations had acceptable use policies in place that have clearly been breached. However, employers have a duty of care towards all employees and may need to ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure that not just the culprits are caught but that the majority of their employees who find such behaviour reprehensible are adequately protected from inadvertent exposure to inappropriate images and video material on a corporate network.

In the opinion of Image Analyser, the blurring of the boundaries between corporate and personal computing with the growth in the use of iPads and other consumer devices and smartphones in the workplace, requires additional vigilance and safeguards in place to ensure that inappropriate images and video are not inadvertently viewed or disseminated using these devices and corporate networks.

An Opinion Piece produced by Image Analyser