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Tuesday
Jan092007

Saddam Hussein, a Brazilian Supermodel. . . & You

If you follow the news, you probably are aware that an unauthorized cell phone video of Saddam Hussein’s execution is causing problems for the Iraqi government and the United States.

Did you see the story last week about the Brazilian government banning YouTube.com (an Internet video sharing site) because of a video showing a Brazilian supermodel “frolicking” in public with a boyfriend on a beach in Spain?

It seems that almost all cell phones now come with cameras. These “phones” can be used to take photographs and videos anywhere.

Would you like to see an unauthorized video of your organization on your local TV news? Are your employees taking embarrassing or sexually explicit photos of other employees, customers or members of the public? Are images of your confidential information walking out your door in cell phones?

Cell phones can be an important business tool for some employees. Even cell phone cameras can have business benefits. They can help employees document business matters, including accidents and damaged goods.

Your challenge is to maximize cell phone benefits while reducing their risks. Then there are the issues of personal cell phone calls during working hours and talking on a cell phone while driving.

What is an employer to do? We have a few suggestions.

Don’t: Don’t wait until you have a problem before adopting a cell phone policy.

Do: Do carefully consider which employees need cell phones for their job.

Do: Do think through appropriate restrictions for those employees authorized to use cell phones.

Do: Do prohibit all other employees from using cell phones during working hours and from bringing cell phones with cameras to work.

Do: Do have employees acknowledge that by bringing a camera phone or a camera to work, they are authorizing you to review all photographs, they assign all work related photos (you will need to define this) to you and that you may delete all such photos.

Do: Do prohibit employees from posting work related photos on the Internet.

Don’t: Don’t assume an employee will not take a photo that can harm your organization.

Remember: Remember that cameras are everywhere. Do not say or do anything personally or as an organization that you do not want posted on the Internet.

Alan 

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