Some companies, in some developed Western countries — I won’t give names, because I can’t tell how many companies are having similar policies — are having the following approach towards security: they seal employees’ smartphones’ photo camera lenses!
I have not seen such a seal — a self-adhesive one that would probably break if one tries to remove it, and I believe anyone carrying a smartphone on the premises must have such a sticker carrying the current day’s mark –, but I know such an idea was about to be implemented in one of the companies I worked for. In the end, due to employees’ very negative feedback and possibly because of the too much “North Korea-like” security procedures this would incur, the idea has been dropped — and replaced with NDAs (non-disclosure agreements).
Actually, the companies that seal employees’ smartphones do impose NDAs on them — but they also choose to disregard an employee’s signature!
I don’t understand how so many people don’t realize the implications of the whole thing:
1. THE PRESUMPTION OF GUILT. The employee is, before anything else, a thief, a spy, a criminal. If we were to apply this to every possible crime, people should be handcuffed all the time, and men should wear iron trousers — for fear they would rape someone. If this is what a company thinks of you, why are you working for them? Just because the pay is much better than in North Korea?
2. CONTEMPT AND DISREGARD TOWARDS THE REQUIRED AND GIVEN SIGNATURE! As I said, as long as the employee was invited to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (I signed several such documents in the past myself), then why the employee’s signature is not a valid acknowledgment of a commitment to the respect of confidentiality? Either you don’t ask someone to sign a NDA, or you bloody accept their signature! If the company doesn’t trust your signature, why would you trust theirs? If the company thinks “he signed, but he’ll break his signature anyway”, how could you not think the same about their signature? Maybe you should ask them the pay for one month or one year in advance — after all, you’re only giving them with the same treatment they give you! How shitty must be the unions to be so unresponsive when the employees are facing undissimulated contempt?
3. PRIVATE PROPERTY DESTRUCTION. Again, I don’t know how those stickers look like, but they’re something… sticky, and applied on the back cover of a smartphone. Glossy plastic, paint, or whatever the back cover is covered with or made of, when you stick and unstick such a thing on a daily basis, it’s soon going to be scratched, made matte or otherwise affected. No to mention that the plastic or the glass that covers the lens would be affected too! How is this not affecting an employee’s private property? Would such an employee exhibit the same level of submission if instead of the smartphone, their personal car would suffer a similar treatment, e.g. gluing a poster on the windshield or even on the car’s body, so that the repeated removal would eventually scratch the car’s paint?
4. IDIOCY. Because this “security measure” is 100% INEFFECTIVE! Do a search on eBay for spy pen, and you’re going to find extremely cheap means to defeat the attempt to prevent any taking of photos:
To totally prevent any data leakage, such a company should examine each and every employee in all of their cavities — and then change its name in “High-Security Prison”. Or “Camp No. 22″. Or — why not? — even “Auschwitz”.
In the end, such a company: asks the employees to read, agree and sign a NDA; disregards the signed NDA, implicitly insults the employee, and imposes supplementary restrictions that affect both an employee’s convenience and his or her property. Still, the employees are happy with that!
In the 21st century. In the European Union. In research and development — not in the trench digging business. I would never work for such a company — and I’m not joking. They could stick their company in their asses — they don’t even deserve to exist, with such a mentality. (If you’re a CEO and you don’t understand this blog post, go fuck yourself: you’re too dumb to deserve to have a job as a digger!)
People nowadays don’t have any dignity. But they complain about the lack of human rights in the third-world countries…