Privacy expectations at work—what is reasonable and why?

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (2):201 - 215 (2009)
Throughout the longstanding debate on privacy, the concept has been framed in various ways. Most often it has been discussed as an area within which individuals rightfully may expect to be left alone and in terms of certain data that they should be entitled to control. The sphere in which individuals should be granted freedom from intrusion has typically been equated with the indisputably private domestic sphere. Privacy claims in the semi-public area of work have not been sufficiently investigated. In this article, the case is made that employees have reasonable expectations on privacy at work. Firstly, in a descriptive analysis, employees’ need for workspace privacy is spelt out. Secondly, a normative analysis explicates the reasons why privacy should be protected. The main thrust is to provide a more inclusive privacy concept and hence, a more adequate basis for privacy protection legislation and codes in the area of work. Contrary to prevailing workplace privacy protection, employees’ need for local privacy should be accommodated as well as informational privacy.
Keywords Autonomy  Employees  Ethics  Informational privacy  Local privacy  Privacy  Reasonable expectations of privacy  Workers’ privacy  Workspace
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,189
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Bernard Williams (1992). Shame and Necessity. University of California Press.
James Rachels (1975). Why Privacy is Important. Philosophy and Public Affairs 4 (4):323-333.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Dan Munter (2013). Codes of Ethics in the Light of Fairness and Harm. Business Ethics: A European Review 22 (2):174-188.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

130 ( #32,555 of 1,940,952 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #115,021 of 1,940,952 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.