1. Do employers have the right to know what their employees do when they are not working? Why or why not?
Personally, in general, I don’t think that employers have the right to do so. Employees don’t get paid by the employers when they are off duty. During this “free time”, they are not in employment relationship, and the employers are not in a superior position and not responsible for employees either, so they don’t have the authority to get to know what the employees are doing outside the workplace. It is unfeasible for the employers to know what their employees are up to 24-7, because the employees are just working for them, not under their custody. It’s understandable that employers monitor what their employees do when they are at work place, it is for organization’s benefit, but if employers do so when employees are not working, I have to say that it is infringing on their privacy. (P.242)
2. Can these cases with professional athletes (Sanderson, 2009) can be applied to (or compared with) other types of employees — such as lawyers, teachers, advertising sales reps, etc. Why or why not?
Well, I don’t think that the cases in Sanderson’s article can be applied to other types of employees. Athletes are a special kind of employees, and they mostly are well-known and draw people’s attention much more than other types of employees. What they do are often eye-catching, and may affect their performance and then their organization’s revenue(P.251). In addition, these athletes are celebrities, and mostly are considered as role models, so they have more social influence no matter they are working or not. But other types of employees, like lawyers, teachers, they don’t have that much fans and normally people wouldn’t “monitor” what they do outside the work place. Besides, what they do when they are not working wouldn’t influence their organizations’ revenue as athletes do.
3. Should people be concerned about the location tracking capabilities discussed by Abe (2009)? Do these technologies have negative aspects?
I don’t think it would be an issue to be worried about. Unless we are suspects or criminals, we need not mind it even if the traces of driving are monitored and stored by the Car-Navi system. (P. 78) It’s true that we expose ourselves by using the information and communication technologies, but we are living in a digital era, it’s like you can’t leave no footprints when walking on the beach, no one can be invisible and it is impossible to run away from these technologies.Besides, everyone is under the same “surveillance”, not just one or two people are specially targeted. The negative aspect of these technologies I can think of is that we lost some privacy that they use our data for profit purpose. Overall, these technologies brought so much convenience and far outweigh the negative aspects.
4. Is the typical college student’s participation in Facebook an example of Abe’s “peer surveillance”? Why or why not?
In my opinion, Facebook is not a good example of Abe’s “peer surveillance”. Although it has the similar nature with mixi, one of the most popular and biggest social networking services in Japan (P.79), that both of them are social networking websites, it doesn’t has the two main characteristics that are considered as “Peer Surveillance.” First, anyone can sign up on Facebook without an invitation from a member, second, it doesn’t have the “trace record” system that each user can check who visited his/her profile and diary page (P.79). These two features are the place where “peer surveillance” function and make users feel safe and comfortable, which Facebook doesn’t have, so I don’t think it is a good example.