With the internet playing an ever larger role in our lives (and our work), it is no surprise that there has been a corresponding increase in online employee misconduct. In this realm, one of the most frustrating situations for employers relates to anonymous postings that offend company policy. These occur in a variety of ways: from nameless comments on online message boards disparaging the workplace to videos uploaded to sites like YouTube as a form of workplace or co–worker harassment.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s findings do not mean that consent to the collection of an IP address is always required. There may be a number of legitimate reasons for collecting this information, including those relating to security of the site. These reasons would not necessarily extend, however, to collection and use of IP addresses for advertising purposes without some form of consent.