The closure of the News of the World newspaper is an extreme illustration of the sort of difficulties organisations can get themselves into if staff misuse new technology.
The attention that the phone hacking scandal has attracted also highlights the importance of privacy and the limits of the ‘public interest’ defence.
If allegations of top management incompetence, or worse, are upheld the impact on News International will continue to be felt for some time - even after the NOTW ceases its operations.
The lessons for employers are clear – make clear what practical limitations there are on your employees’ use of new technology and ensure that these, and other, ethical standards are enforced – or risk becoming implicated in their misdeeds.
Our Focus On training series begins again in September 2011 with a look at Social Networking – another aspect of computer-based use and abuse. See our Training and Events page for details of these workshops in Edinburgh and Glasgow.