How much privacy do you have?
At face value, taking a company cell phone seems like a great idea – you get a free phone and minutes every month to communicate with others. Many firms allow you to use it for personal use and will even give you a data package so that you are able to read your email or surf the internet. However, how much privacy does one really have when it comes to the company cell phone? Will your employer have the ability to read your text messages or see which internet sites you are going to?
Privacy is the discretion of the employer
This is a hard question to answer because every employer is different – each has a unique policy and as headlines in the news show us, even those with policies showing that they will not read them have been taken to court over breaking this trusted boundary. The reasoning behind them wanting to do this is varied and could truly be business related, however still violate your privacy.
How to respond?
So what is the best approach to take? First, always make sure that you check with your employer regarding this policy. There is nothing suspicious or wrong about asking – its your privacy and your right to know. Second, check with the phone company as well – see if they would give away this information to your employer that is paying for the telephone. The answer is probably yes.
Conclusions on the Company Phone
Finally, having a company phone can be a great privilege but it must be used responsibly. Don’t write any text messages or visit any websites that you wouldn’t want to be posted on the office bulletin board for everyone to see. While it may not be legal or ethical for them to look at these, that does not mean that the damage that could be inflicted from them spying on it is easily fixed.