Building your firewall
You work in corporate HR and IT.
You put put up the latest advances in firewall protection and keystroke monitoring technology.
You block MySpace, Facebook, and numerous other sites with “dubious/unsavory” ratings.
You broadcast well drafted policies on the use of social media, the use of company computers for unauthorized or illegal purposes.
You are feeling pretty good about your situation.
And then your cell phone rings, and you hear: “Someone just filed a complaint that they saw Bob from IT watching an adult film in his cubicle….on his iPhone”
What are you going to do now? How likely is it that this will happen in your organization? It may happen sooner than you think!
Chances are, it is already taking place in some organizations. And such behavior and the resulting problems are only going to increase.
HR professionals should start thinking now about how to deal with the latest technological advances in workplace impropriety now. Here are some ideas on what you might want to watch for.
Porn and the iPhone
Fast Company recently featured an article profiling the desire of the sex entertainment industry to expand into the mobile phone business.
Thanks to the iPhone, now selling in the millions, the consumer BlackBerry and competitor models, the smartphone is making portable high-quality movie media available to millions more consumers. It’s not hard to imagine that the sex industry sees handsets as a fabulous new vehicle for selling its wares.
And thanks mostly to the iPhone’s iTunes tie-up, consumers are getting used to paying in small amounts for over-the-air distributed content. These micropayments are a totally different business model than selling Web-site subscriptions or DVDs, but as we’ve noted, the adult industry is a very flexible creature.
According to Kioskea.net, Adult entertainment powerhouse Pink Visual saw visits to its mobile video service soar after Christmas as people turned on new iPhones and tapped into porn.
Sex video makers and distributors are evolving with the technology times, catering to customers seeking satisfaction on smart phones, Blu-ray players, and Internet television.
Digital Playground, which is credited with producing the first high-definition adult film five years ago, has a website devoted exclusively to Apple’s hot iPhones and offers free trailer “podcasts” for iPods.
“The way people get their porn is changing,” Pink distribution operations manager Kim Kysar said as an annual Adult Entertainment Expo wrapped in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“It is going to be more personal and you get it anywhere you are: on the road, in the bathroom at work taking a break. Nobody is going to be the wiser.”
The number of visitors to Pink websites customized for mobile devices has rocketed for the past six months and forty percent of the visitors become subscription-paying members.
“We saw a peak after Christmas when everybody got new video phones,” Kysar said. “One of the first things people do after activating their iPhones is Google ‘iPhone porn’ and here they are.”
An iPhone app called “Hottest Girls” appeared briefly in the App Store in June 2009 and sold rapidly before being removed by Apple. The “Hottest Girls” app shows iPhone and iPod Touch users pictures of scantily clad women, and some of the models are topless. There are many apps in the iPhone store that depict women in various states of undress, but this is the first official program that shows nudity.
Eventually, the Apple lock on iPhone apps will end. Other companies will not be so protective of teir image and will sell apps that will facilitate. While it may be distrubing to consider the possibility, HR managers should be aware of the possibility of this technology making its way into the workplace, and be prepared to deal with it.