You might wonder why I spend so much time on my blog complaining about the lack of protection for personal privacy.
In my previous entry, I mentioned that one way to motivate personal privacy protection is to reverse the corporation argument. When the laws for corporations were established, it is modeled after a human being, with rights to hold property and to enter legally binding contracts. Certainly the supreme court recently upheld that view of corporation by giving corporations in the US the right to have political views and to participate in politics–just as any person would.
So, let’s reverse this argument. If a corporation is modeled after a person, and there are secrets, as long as they’re deemed trade secrets, that are protected by law. Should a person not be guaranteed his privacy in the same way?
More plainly, I think most people will agree with me that bank account names and passwords should be protected. Because that guarantees a person his personal property–a fundamental right in America. That means YOU CANNOT LOG INTO MY BANK ACCOUNT AND LOOK AT HOW MUCH MONEY i HAVE, and YOU CANNOT TAKE THAT MONEY OUT AND PUT IT INTO ANOTHER ACCOUNT EVEN IF THAT OTHER ACCOUNT IS MINE ALSO!!!!!!
Let’s phrase it another way. This American Government has secrets. There are very strict federal laws that disallows making public information, or even make individuals aware of or aware of the existence of certain information. And some of these secrets are about disagreeable agendas or actions or mistakes or direct violations of laws by the government.
By the same token, and by the 5th amendments, individuals should not have to make public or even make the government aware of information that it does not want them to know, EVEN if it’s evidence of my own wrong doing!!!
So this means if I have a secret contract to work with my employers competition, and I keep this information on my personal device. My employer should be breaking laws and should be punished severely if they come to know of this act by reading my personal emails (which I have kept off of company computers). If my employers put a camera in my home. If my employer put listening devices (AKA bugs) on my person, or in my food. If my employer installed a device on my pen to record the text of my writing. If my employer put a tracking device on my person, personal clothing, my car, my bike, my personal laptops.
ALL of these things are severe violations of my personal privacy rights!
If further, my employer make this information public, or to make it known to my peers at work. This should be considered a greater offense and should be punished severely!
If an agent does this on behave of my employer, the employer and the agent should both be punished.
If you are an employee of the company and you violate my privacy on your own accord for competitive reasons, then there should be federal law–not corporate rules–that prevents this act. I should be able to take you to court for reading my personal email because we work together!!
Now, needless to say I feel that my hypothetical taking of a contracting job with a competitor may be immoral and illegal, but that does not give the company the right to invade any of my personal privacies!!
Nor to do so indirectly!!
The company cannot spy on me! And it should also be illegal for the company to require or prefer the signature of a release allowing them to do so.
Btw, this release is stated indirectly, typically that you agree to not sue the company for privacy violations. Because it doesn’t say the company will do that, but it prevents you from seeking justice after the fact. So think of it this way. After you sign that, they can put a camera in your bathroom and watch you and your wife and your kids shower, and they can take the money that your hard work makes for the company and hire a person full time to do this, and you cannot sue because you agreed to it as part of the condition to work for them.
Alternatively, companies may ask you to sign this agreement at the exit. Which means they might have done so already and just want buy the right to keep those tapes and watch them again and again and you release them for what? maybe 3-months severance? maybe 6 weeks? maybe 100 stock units? It’s not worth it no matter how much they give you.
This clause should be as illegal as blacklisting union member!!
There really should be federals safe guarding day-to-day personal privacy of American Citizens.