ATO gives workers social media accessWorkers at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are taking part in a trial of a wireless network that will allow them, for the first time, to access sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter during work time.
The trial group of 170 South Australian tax workers will have some of the widest employer-supplied internet access of any rank-and-file Public Servants in the nation in an initiative that could be rolled out to all the ATO's 24,000 employees across the nation.
Pornographic sites and those posing a danger of malware or spam will remain off-limits and management will keep an eye on big downloaders.
The Tax Office said workers would have an alternative, less restrictive mechanism to access the internet without compromising the security of ATO systems.
The Public Service has had an uneasy relationship with the social media activities of its employees and several high-profile cases have highlighted the blurred lines between private and professional online lives.
Chief Information Officer at the ATO, Bill Gibson has written to workers saying he recognised “the increasing use of mobile devices in the workplace, the deeper integration of work and life in our everyday lives and the increasing need for staff to access social networking and other websites for work purposes''.
The trial group will be able to use their personal devices through the wireless network to access social networking sites.
''Because the service is separate to our ATO systems, fewer restrictions will be placed on its use,'' Mr Gibson wrote.
''Security is everyone's responsibility and the Commissioner [of Taxation] trusts us to do the right thing. Piloting this new service is reflective of two-way trust the Commissioner wishes to engender.''
Edition 379, 17 September 2013