How Much Does The Job Of Corporate Email Reader/Snooper Pay?

from the sort-of-like-a-spy,-but-not dept

It's no secret that plenty of big firms do track emails that are being sent by employees, to be able to look for leaks or spot questionable email behavior. And, indeed, a new study finds that 41% of the largest companies surveyed do employ people to analyze outbound emails, though that could just be looking over stats for anything suspicious. However, the report also notes that 22% of the companies employ people for whom this is their primary job -- which suggests that at least some of those are basically sitting there all day scanning and reading the email of employees, looking for anything questionable. This seems fairly extreme. While I can understand the idea of having a system to go back and spot questionable emails if an investigation requires it, having full time staff scanning emails seems to be a clear indication that these companies simply don't trust their employees. I recognize in a large corporation that you can't trust all your employees, but that doesn't seem like a good reason to spy on all of them. Do these companies also record all of their phone calls and listen to them? Or track what all the employees do when they leave the office?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    some old guy, May 23rd, 2008 @ 4:24pm

    Treat them as you want them to be

    Treat your companies assets as nothing but liabilities, and they will cease to be assets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Brick Marketing, May 23rd, 2008 @ 4:31pm

    Wow, we agree with you fully. It seems far too excessive to employ someone full time to scan emails. It's quite scary that a whopping 22% do it...we would imagine much less!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Daniel, May 23rd, 2008 @ 4:50pm

    Email Archiving

    I work for a company that has the does the archiving of emails for large companies. They do it because the government says they have to. Also because if some one is defrauding a company or a customer it can be taken to court as proof. They also do not look at every email. Normally a percentage or they have certain words that cause an email to be flagged. Some of our clients are using up Tb of data a month. you cannot possibly read all of that email.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Eric Fredericksen, May 23rd, 2008 @ 4:59pm

    What's in a name???

    Ok first of all. Corporate email systems are usually set up for the employee to conduct business relevant to the companies interests. We all know that is not what happens. Corporations can be held liable for anything you (the employee) do while using their email messaging system. So in their defense, It is simply a loss prevention practice. With that having been said, Who the hell proof reads these online articles. With a headline like "How Much Does The Job Of Corporate Email Reader/Snooper Pay?" I would have expected to learn at least a little bit about what a email snooper gets paid. I guess i'm just a stickler.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    dennis call, May 23rd, 2008 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Treat them as you want them to be

    Just dont write emails that will get you in trouble. Dont talk about company news, products and you wont have any problems. Cause the people reading your email dont care about who your dating or what your eating for dinner. And just so you people know, the government has been doing this sence 1990. Pre-WWW days..

    -dennis

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    fot, May 23rd, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    Re:Re: Treat them as you want them to be

    Dennis, I think that I would not want to attempt trying to read your e-mails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    wasnt me, May 23rd, 2008 @ 5:59pm

    sometimes its cheaper to police your current staff than to replace them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    some old guy, May 23rd, 2008 @ 6:05pm

    Re: What's in a name???

    With a headline like "How Much Does The Job Of Corporate Email Reader/Snooper Pay?" I would have expected to learn at least a little bit about what a email snooper gets paid.

    Seconded. bummer...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    dennis call, May 23rd, 2008 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Email Archiving

    Thats right.. People dont know how much time it takes to read a tb of data.

    -dennis

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Carl, May 23rd, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    whats the point . . .

    if employees can simply use their personal email to do nefarious things instead???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    LMR2020, May 23rd, 2008 @ 7:14pm

    ::insert cliche Big Brother comment here::

    I just recently left a firm that not only monitored our e-mails but was very upfront about the fact that they also monitored our phone calls. I never used their e-mail or their phones for personal business, mainly because I didn't care for my employer knowing any more about my personal life than necessary. Seems pretty simple to me, but I'm old school...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    bobbknight, May 23rd, 2008 @ 7:34pm

    It's Logical

    Think Mike, this is just a natural extension of the nanny state that we ourselves have created.
    Laws and court decisions with the force of law practically removing liability from the individual and placing it on the institution and or corporation. Sex discrimination, sex harassment, age, religion, ethnicity, race, the list grows at a near geometric rate.
    With the health care environment, and being sued at the sneeze of a goldfish, if I were a company, I to would be paranoid of my workers.
    One case in point, I recently had to go through my Grandmothers old possessions, in them I found many items from when she went to school, in grade 6 she was doing thing that a collage grad would have trouble doing today.
    The point of this is that we are dummying down to the point of mediocrity in everyday life. We can not fire an inept educator because the teachers union will sue us and he has tenure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Selby, May 23rd, 2008 @ 8:50pm

    Re: What's in a name???

    I agree. How much do those bastards get paid?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Mikey, May 23rd, 2008 @ 9:28pm

    Re: What's in a name???

    I wanna know how much they make. I know personally I used to do e-mail customer service for a company (television retail network) and made a whopping 13 bux an hour plus bennies of course. But really how much does it pay I could do that for sure.

    -Mikey

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Crazy Coyote, May 24th, 2008 @ 4:39am

    More infomation leaked at the local gin mill after work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2008 @ 4:54am

    Best post so far

    "Some Old Guy" probably summed it up best:

    Treat your companies assets as nothing but liabilities, and they will cease to be assets.

    This statement may also be applied to "Big Content" as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Franssu, May 24th, 2008 @ 9:18am

    Re: Treat them as you want them to be

    You're right. If I discovered my employer snooped on my emails/phonecalls, I'd immediately resign and sue their ass because if they spy on me, they have a legal obligation to tell me about it.

    Oh, and I'd tell everyone about it, in an industry as small as the one I'm working in that would make their job of finding new employees very difficult.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2008 @ 9:20am

    One of my jobs as a programmer for a small company was to go through firewall logs and check to see if anyone was looking at porn. It was not my full time job, but it did take a significant amount of time once they wanted to start cracking down on it. Boring as hell too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    CJ, May 24th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    @Franssu, they probably do tell you, it's called acceptable use policy. Most people just never read all that boring terms and conditions verbiage. I can't remember ever using a computing network owned by another entity (university, corporation) that didn't have a clause in the acceptable use about having rights to monitor use and data or mail sent from the accounts they own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Nasch, May 24th, 2008 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Treat them as you want them to be

    Why do you think it's illegal for them to read the email you send using company equipment, software, and networks, whether they tell you about it or not? Phone calls are specifically protected by certain laws, but AFAIK that is not the case with email. Do you know otherwise?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Nasch, May 24th, 2008 @ 4:55pm

    Phone calls and personal time?

    It seems quite disingenuous to throw in that question about monitoring phone calls and tracking what employees do outside of work time. I don't know the details of wiretapping laws, but my understanding is there are tight restrictions on when anybody can monitor or record phone calls without permission. I'm not sure it's legal at all without a court order. Technically, any company could hire people to follow their employees around as long as they're in public places, but the expense, benefit, and invasiveness of that puts it in a whole different category than monitoring emails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    subhash, Dec 13th, 2008 @ 11:29pm

    job

    i'm ready to do this job

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    ashutosh ranjan, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 2:50am

    job

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This