Stephanie at Healthy Simplicity has written an insightful post about why it doesn’t necessarily make sense to ban allergens in schools. In my reply to her post, I talked about how banning something often gives people a false sense of security — and is, in reality, a security that doesn’t usually exist.
This post made me think about something else that often gets banned. Organizations are often fond of banning technologies — giving various reasons such as exposure to risk (whether that risk is leaked information, inappropriate comments by employees, or viruses or other malware).
The usual targets for technology bans are things like peer-to-peer downloading software and instant messaging applications, as well as web sites, which can be banned through an organization’s site filtering software.
There are several arguments as to why software or sites should be banned within an organization, and they basically go like this. Employees don’t really understand copyright, often misjudge what’s in good taste, and waste quite a bit of time — and if we ban certain software and sites, we’ll curtail some copyright infringement, distasteful content and time-wasting.