The death of the phone, and other privacy stories

While technology can make complying with privacy laws easier, it poses a host of new challenges for organizations
By Ian Turnbull
|CHRR, Guide to HR Technology|Last Updated: 11/08/2004

HR professionals use the telephone every day. It is a primary tool, arguably the main tool in competition with e-mail, used to request and receive information.

Employees call requesting benefit balances. HR calls others asking for references. HR receives calls requesting confirmations of employment.

But can HR, or anyone for that matter, continue to rely on the phone? Concerns around the privacy and security of personal information have led many to suggest the phone is dead when it comes to requesting information because it is extremely difficult to authenticate the identity of the caller. Even using caller ID, showing that the call is coming from a person’s phone, is not sufficient to ensure the person calling is the individual whose information is being requested.