Why Omarosa Manigault Newman’s Recordings Should Terrify All Business Owners

Omarosa Manigault Newman has a new book coming out, Unhinged, about her time in the Trump White House. I’m sure people who agree with it will proclaim it as gospel truth and people who disagree with it will cry “fake news!” That’s not what you should be worried about.

Instead, let’s worry about the fact that she secretly recorded meetings.

This should be a wake-up call for every business owner and manager out there. Almost all of your employees carry smartphones capable of recording conversations. And they can do so without any muss or fuss. You wouldn’t know it was happening. It’s doubtful your conversations contain classified material (unless you’re in government or are a government contractor), but you often do have conversations that you wouldn’t like your competitors to hear. Here’s what you need to know.

To keep reading, click here: Why Omarosa Manigault Newman’s Recordings Should Terrify All Business Owners

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  1. “You should always assume you’re being recorded”

    Pretty much. That also goes for “private” meetings with shareholders or donors (lookin’ at you, Mitt Romney!)

    Related: you should also avoid hiring publicity hounds and whack-jobs, and failing that, you should show them the door sooner rather than later when their instability becomes obvious.

  2. I don’t agree that all business owners should be terrified at the prospect of employees surreptitiously recording meetings. I do agree that everyone should assume that they are being recorded at all times and govern themselves accordingly. My agency has regulations against recording on the premises without management permission, but it is — sometimes — violated and, less often, results in discipline. Absent national security or trade secret concerns — for which employers already have legal remedies — if management is “terrified” at the prospect of being recorded, they may need to look in the mirror and decide if they need to clean up their own acts. That being said, occasionally, very high-level or sensitive meetings at my workplace are recorded or even conducted in the presence of a certified court reporter, to eliminate potential future disputes about what transpired.

    • “Terrified” might be overstating the case, but it’s not like it’s unheard of for otherwise innocuous statements to morph into something that sounds incriminating by pulling it out of contexts. And we certainly have plenty of conversations in this office that we wouldn’t want our competitors to hear.

      • Recording actually tends more to protect people concerned about “otherwise innocuous statements” being twisted “into something that sounds incriminating.” Trade secrets is a whole other area, and can be protected by nondisclosure agreements, legal action, etc.

  3. Terrifying! I mean, the concept of e-mail has been around for over 40 years and there are STILL people that don’t get it that emails may be read by someone other than the recipient. And how many videos do we see on YouTube of people going off on angry rants or racist tirades even when someone is openly holding up a smartphone recording it all.

    I think an awful lot of people are just oblivious or incredibly naiive to the idea that someone may be secretly recording them. It’s scary!

    • People feel empowered by their perception of anonymity and privacy, neither of which exist in the real world anymore

  4. I would never allow cell phones in a meeting ever again. No one NEEDS a phone in a meeting…not even the President who I am sure has “people” who can interrupt him if it is important…

    Phones and technology are nice but the world survived without them for a long time….life does not need to be at the speed of thought….

    • Good luck with that. I hate cell phones in meetings, but even if you managed to ban them officially, it would be pretty hard to stop someone from hitting record and hiding one in a pocket if they were determined enough.

  5. I’ve had managers shout at me in one-on-one meetings, and hiss “why haven’t you resigned yet!?!” Also had managers sneer at me at meetings when everyone was looking elsewhere. It can get nasty and manipulative, because — regardless of any ‘our values’ posters on the wall– managers can be sociopathic… and be rewarded for saving the company on severance costs and unemployment compensation by pressuring employees out the door. Managers may not admit all that to HR, but it’s fun and profitable for the lowest of their ilk.

    I decided against recording because of the company policy, although I kept detailed notes. And it’s a smaller city where I’ve been knifed as a candidate for a few positions over the years as a result.

  6. Assuming you are being recorded should be an acknowledgement along with being on camera in a workplace. There should be no privacy in anything work related. If hackers can watch us so can the workplace. I know this sounds a little bit like the novel 1984, but the trust level is gone in our present work society.
    In this situation with Omarosa, where she “secretly recorded “ she also was being recorded both verbally and in video. Look at how ast cellphones are being taken out to video situations in “real “ life. (Call it new way thinking-everything public).
    As the article states, cover your liability by having a policy in place.

  7. I’m reminded of David Brin’s 1996 essay in Wired (and the subsequent book) “The Transparent Society,” in which he argues that the cameras (and other surveillance systems) are coming, and nothing can stop them. The only choice we have, as a society, is who gets to access the results: The rich and powerful, governments, the elite, or *everybody*.

    He makes an interesting argument that if the powers that be can watch us (and they can, and nothing can stop it), then we need to be able to watch them, so we can hold them accountable.

    Rereading it now, 20+ years later, it’s eerily prophetic in a number of ways.