A Few Words About Privacy
At Cataphora, we value the privacy not only of our customers, but also that of their employees and partners. Our many years of experience in the litigation and investigation space have made us keenly aware of the importance of confidentiality and discretion. All our products and processes are designed to allow access only where it’s needed and to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality.
Privacy in the workplace
We stand firmly behind the belief that employees should expect no guarantees of privacy for communications they choose to make using company equipment on company time. However, we also understand that no one benefits when employees are concerned that someone is looking over their shoulder. No one objects to software that scans electronic communications for content everyone generally finds offensive, such as child pornography. An employee who is creating potentially millions of dollars of liability for his employer is also a real threat. This threat is not just to the employer, but also to customers, vendors, shareholders and other employees who depend on that employer for their livelihood; it is the employer’s right and duty to protect against it. Our mission is to help.
We sometimes encounter comments like “Before companies like Cataphora came along, my emails at work were totally private – this technology is Big Brother!” This nostalgia for the supposed old days of privacy is misplaced. In most companies, IT departments or even managers can easily see any email they want to, without tracking or permission. Even in the days before email and other electronic forms of communication, when you talked on the phone your office mates would hear your end of the conversation. Similarly, those manila interoffice envelopes, held shut by a simple metal clasp or piece of string, didn’t exactly provide the highest levels of security to keep the mail clerk from sneaking a peek at your documents. Technology is not the source or destroyer of privacy, human nature is.
Smarter systems improve privacy
We believe that smarter monitoring and human resource assessment technology is better for the employee and for the employer. Almost 70% of companies already have some form of network monitoring in place, but most is so simplistic that it can be downright insulting to employees. Just ask anyone who’s tried looking for information on breast cancer only to get an email from IT warning them not to view inappropriate material. We believe no one benefits when employees are afraid to express themselves because “the system” might catch them using a dirty word. Nor does it help employers to be flooded with meaningless alerts that someone is IM’ing his or her friends.
Rather than simplistically counting the number of times you go the water cooler, or how many emails you send each day, our technology is based on a sophisticated multidimensional model of behavior. As a result, companies benefit from better insight into their human resources and from reduced risk, while employees can just be themselves. Our software has a variety of uses including monitoring or investigating employee behavior for potential liability, identifying opportunities for improving business processes, and for ensuring compliance with industry regulations.
None of our clients is interested in spending significant amounts of time and money on a system to find office gossip. And, while we can’t prevent every single instance of inappropriate use of our technologies, we incorporate levels of anonymization, so only authorized personnel have access to the personal information they need. And we include a detailed audit trail and logging, which track who sees what, so any abuse can be found and stopped.
Everyone benefits from transparency
Our solutions provide significant benefits not just to managers and business owners, but to all employees. If your co-workers are engaged in fraud, wouldn’t you want them discovered before they bring millions in losses down on everyone? If a manager is creating a hostile work environment, wouldn’t you want someone to intervene before talented co-workers leave or sue? We believe the best workers benefit from having sophisticated, objective measures of productivity, centrality and expertise informing personnel decisions, to counterbalance subjective factors such as who claims the most credit, whom people like, or whom the boss went to school with.
By giving managers, acquirers and compliance officers the tools they need to see beyond personal biases, we help all employees enjoy the benefits of a company that is more transparent, more productive, and less exposed to risk.