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European court rules that employee messages are not private

Employers in Europe can read workers’ private messages sent via chat software and webmail accounts during working hours, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled, saying a firm that read a worker’s Yahoo Messenger chats sent while he was at work was within its rights. “Judges said he had breached the company's rules and that his employer had a right to check on his activities,” the BBC reports. “Such policies must also protect workers against unfettered snooping, they said.” The worker, an engineer in Romania, had hoped the court would rule that his employer had breached his right to confidential correspondence when it accessed his messages and subsequently sacked him in 2007.

  • Monday, 25 January 2016

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