Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ban Cell Phones at Meetings

Some companies now ban laptops at meetings to battle against multitasking. Cell phones should also be banned, but to prevent spying, not multitasking.

Corporate spying is growing along with technology. Perhaps the most common "bug" today is the cell phone. Not a bug in the cell phone, but the cell phone itself. If given $10,000 in cash, a lot of employees would dial a number on their cell phone before going into a confidential meeting.

That's all a competitor would have to do to learn a company's secrets. The cell phone would pick up all the conversation in a meeting and transmit it to whoever is listening, and, perhaps, recording.

Before high-level meetings, Skipp Porteous, of Sherlock Investigations, often sweeps a conference room for electronic listening devices. "I can assure them that the room is clean," Porteous said, "until the people attending the meeting arrive." To prevent eavesdropping from cell phones, Porteous says that all staff members should leave their cell phones in their desks.

While most employees are trustworthy, "You never know for sure," Porteous said.

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