Marketplace Scratch Pad

Parting Gifts

Scott Jagow Feb 24, 2009

Scruples question of the day: If you get laid off, is it okay to take company information with you?
A new survey from security company Symantec finds that 59% of employees admitted to stealing data on their way out the door. 67% said they used their former company’s confidential info to get their next job. Hmmm. Seems pretty black and white, but of course, it never is.

If you take a contact list you created, that hardly seems on par with stealing the Colonel’s chicken recipe from KFC.

Also, this survey found that people who were royally ticked at their company were much more likely to steal data than those who had a favorable view. Maybe companies should try some gentler methods for canning people. Plus, 88% of employers admitted they didn’t scan memory sticks or other devices when people were leaving. They just let the stuff walk out the door.

I can understand jonesing for a little revenge or even just an edge in the job market. Especially this job market. And if companies want to keep their information private, they need to do a better job protecting it. At the same time, depending on what data’s being shared, it could bite you later.

Makes me think of the movie, Office Space. They find out they’re getting fired and cook up a scheme to steal. They get away with it – kind of. But I sure did enjoy watching them beat the hell out of the company’s fax machine.

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