Careful, your boss may be spying on you, ACLU report contends

December 19, 1990|By Knight-Ridder

WASHINGTON -- Your boss may be spying on you electronically. He may be monitoring your personal telephone calls, watching you with hidden cameras, keeping secret records of your computer habits. Such corporate invasions of workerndividual freedom is endangered today more by employers than by government, the ACLU contends.

In response, the ACLU announced that it will mount a major campaign to draft model federal and statutes to guarantee basic freedoms. Also, it will continue to fight these employer practices through lawsuits, said Ira Glasser, ACLU ex

ecutive director.

"It is standard operating procedure" in the telephone and travel industries to monitor employees' personal phone calls without telling them, said Lewis Maltby, head of the ACLU's Bill of Rights campaign.

Each year, at least 15 million employees must submit samples of their urine to bosses for analysis, the report said.

The United States adopted the Bill of Rights 200 years ago this month to protect basic individual liberties against abuses of governmental power, Glasser noted. But "now what happens at your place of work is more important than what your government does to you. People are more afraid of being punished for their political beliefs by being fired from their jobs than from being arrested by a policeman."

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