The majority of technology workers have probably at one time or another treated their office computers as a personal file cabinet. It is an accepted practice to store personal addresses, correspondence and e-mail messages on office PCs. Increasingly, this leads to conflicts, such as when an employee is dismissed or when personal files come under the scrutiny for legal or security reasons. This raises new questions for the information-age workplace: What privacy can employees claim after using office equipment for personal purposes with implied consent? Who owns the personal data stored on their office computers? And what rights do departing workers have to retrieve the accumulation of personal information?
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Paul A. Strassmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) services as the chief information systems executive started in 1957. Since his "retirement" in 1993, he has continued engagements in matters related to information security.