Unlike email, the brief IM (Instant Messenger) remarks that pop up on computer screens are not kept on central servers. But that hasn’t stopped companies from developing software that snags every message – including those unflattering to the boss.

Interest in IM monitoring is soaring as companies not only look to record important communications but also control information leaks and discourage cyberslacking.

Skeptics say it’s just another example of how privacy has all but disappeared in the workplace.

Remember – just like email or web traffic, instant messages can be legally monitored by corporate network administrators – whether those messages are sent to colleagues using a company’s own software or flashed to friends across oceans using freely available programs from America Online, Yahoo! or Microsoft.

See also…

Labor and Employment Law

Internet Law – Forum