A new report has revealed that many employers already monitor their workers' Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages and the practice is set to increase.
A new report by data analysts Gartner has claimed that by the year 2015, 60 percent of employers will monitor social media pages of their employees.
AdvertisementThe 'Big Brother' monitoring will be driven by security worries about employees leaking information or talking negatively about their workplace.
"The growth in monitoring employee behavior in digital environments is increasingly enabled by new technology and services," the Daily Mail quoted Andrew Walls, research vice president of Gartner, as saying.
"Surveillance of individuals, however, can both mitigate and create risk, which must be managed carefully to comply with ethical and legal standards," Walls said,
Most employers will use their monitoring to prevent security breaches - but simply having the technology at their disposal will be a huge temptation to managers who want to know more about their staff.
"The development of effective security intelligence and control depends on the ability to capture and analyse user actions that take place inside and outside the enterprise IT environment," he said.
Walls predicts that the practice, which is increasingly common in America, of asking for Facebook passwords as part of job interviews, will fade out of fashion.
Earlier this year, Facebook said it has "seen a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people's Facebook profiles or private information."
Debate over the legality of employers forcing job applicants to hand over their passwords has raged on since the rise of social networking.
It has become common for managers to review publicly available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates.
But many users, especially on Facebook, have their profiles set to private, making them available only to selected people or certain networks.
Companies that don't ask for passwords have taken other steps - such as asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview.
Once employed, some workers have been required to sign non-disparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.