The law office you work for has recently hired a new receptionist, Alice. In addition to answering the phone and greeting visitors, Alice uses the firm’s word processing software to work on legal documents when other staff members are exceptionally busy. While working on her word processing assignment today, Alice placed the client’s confidential file papers around her desk and proceeded to work on the client’s documents on her computer. Both her desk and her computer screen were visible to anyone entering or sitting in the law office’s lobby. Because she does not have a printer at her desk, Alice sent the documents she was working on to the shared printer down the hallway, where her printouts sat until she was able to pick them up on her break.
At 5:00 this afternoon, a senior partner of the firm called Alice into her office to reprimand her about the way she handled confidential client information.
- What did Alice do wrong?
- Why were Alice’s actions wrong?
- How could Alice remedy the situation the next time she is asked to do word processing that involves a client’s confidential information?