European employees must be told of workplace email monitoring
Companies must tell employees in advance if their work email accounts are being monitored without unduly infringing their privacy, the European Court of Human Rights said in a ruling on defining the scope of corporate email snooping, reports Reuters.
“In a judgment in the case of a man fired 10 years ago for using a work messaging account to communicate with his family, the judges found that Romanian courts failed to protect Bogdan Barbulescu’s private correspondence because his employer had not given him prior notice it was monitoring his communications.”
Email privacy has become a hotly contested issue as more people use corporate mobile phones and work addresses for personal correspondence even as employers demand the right to monitor email and computer usage to ensure staff use work email appropriately and to protect their systems. Courts in general have sided with employers on the issue.
The ruling sets boundaries for e-monitoring versus privacy rights, said Stephanie Raets at Belgian law firm Claeys & Engels Antwerp. “The most important lesson learned from the judgment is that, although an employer may restrict the employees’ privacy in the workplace, it may not reduce it to zero,” she said. http://reut.rs/2f1zS9p