Exiting workers more likely to steal data than stationery
Sod your stapler
Many workers have confessed they would be prepared to swipe data from their ex-employers when they changed jobs.
An online poll of 1,594 full and part-time workers and contractors in the US and UK found that around a quarter (29 per cent in the US and 23 per cent in the UK) would steal customer lists and other sensitive data when they moved employment.
A slightly smaller percentage - 15 per cent in the US and 17 per cent in the UK would walk away with product designs and plans.
By comparison only 13 per cent in the US and 22 per cent in the UK would take small office supplies. However, even the ethically flexible stopped short of being prepared to sell confidential data found in improperly secured files, with only one per cent in the UK and an even lower 0.5 per cent in the US prepared to launder such data on the black market.
A much larger percentage - 45 per cent of US and 57 per cent of UK respondents - admitted they would be unable to resist the temptation to look inside if they came across a confidential file containing, for example, merger plans or salary information.
The survey, commissioned by identity management firm SailPoint, and run by Harrison interactive, found mixed opinions about whether or not the recession has increased the temptation for workers to steal. Around 45 per cent of US respondents and a similar 48 per cent in the UK reckoned economic hard times have had no effect.
"It [the survey] highlights what I call a 'moral grey area' around ownership of electronic data," said Jackie Gilbert, vice president of marketing and co-founder of SailPoint. "We see this in the fact that there are more workers who are comfortable taking various forms of company data, such as customer contact information, than workers who would take a stapler."
More on the survey's methodology and findings can be found here. ®
it's always been MSDN keys.... allegedly.
AC for obvious reasons!
From what I've seen...
... it's not so much a case of the departing employee taking the stationery with them. The speed with which other staff swooped in to clean out an empty desk has always amazed me, especially as the stationery store is not locked.
a 'moral grey area'
Given that management is well known for saying one thing and doing another, and tells many many porkies (you can't have any pay rises or perks as due to the economy we are making very little profit and we are seeing far fewer orders than normal... followed *weeks* later by a new extension, old computers replaced with shiny new ones, a new round of laptops for people that are paid rather more than me and seem to do little other than Powerpoint and Solitaire, plus numerous other things), yeah, I could understand stuff walking out the door. Forget about morals, the word you want is "morale", and there isn't any.
For me, personally, I would absolutely peek at merger/salary plans if they were stupid enough to leave that sort of thing around, if only to get a heads up on whether or not to start printing off my CV.
Sadly the only things they leave scattered around (and not shredded) are confidential R&D documents, and I don't give a crap about any of that. Neither, apparently, do they, for I've seen a stack of papers marked "confidential" with an actual big red stamp, piled face down, so we can use the back of the sheet as "scrap paper". WTF? Are they so tight/stupid this seems like a good idea? Other delights of so-called scrap paper - records of the daily who-clocked-in-when, and also stuff like who gets state work benefits (leaking name, address, SSN, and other stuff).
AC, because all my stats are printed out on the third sheet down on the left.