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  1. #1
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    European Court upholds snooping on employees personal messaging

    12:15Wednesday 13 January 2016
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    HAVE YOUR SAY
    If you use private online messaging while you are at work you might want to think again.

    A ruling by The European Court of Human Rights means that companies have the right to monitor the private online messages of their staff.

    The ruling was made on a case involving a Romanian engineer who was fired for using Yahoo messenger to send messages to family members as well as professional contacts.

    The worker who was sacked by the company in 2007 asked the court to rule that his employer had breached his right to confidential correspondence when it accessed his messages.

    The European Court of Human Rights dismissed the engineer’s argument that the company had violated his rights.

    The Strasbourg court said: “It is not unreasonable for an employer to want to verify that the employees are completing their professional tasks during working hours.”

    Will this ruling change how you use private messaging?

    Court ruling means companies can now read employees' private messages - Blackpool Gazette

  2. #2
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    A better report:

    Bosses can snoop on private messages, court rules
    2016-01-13 13:33 - Stephanie Bodoni

    Luxembourg - Bosses can snoop on workers’ emails including personal messages with loved ones during working hours, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in a case brought by a Romanian man fired after his employer spied on his private Yahoo! chats.

    “It is not unreasonable for an employer to want to verify that the employees are completing their professional tasks during working hours,” the court in Strasbourg, France, ruled Tuesday.

    While the case dates back to 2007, the ruling comes at a time when governments and courts around the world are grappling with how to balance the right to privacy with the need to protect national security in the wake of Islamist terror attacks such as those in Paris last year.

    The court’s decision will also certainly guide the European Union’s top tribunal in future cases and rulings, said lawyers.

    “This decision is significant for a number of European countries” as it legalises reliance on private communications to influence workplace decisions, said Michael Burd, joint head of employment at Lewis Silkin LLP in London. “There’s been a very strict division between employers’ ability to look at private stuff and employers’ ability to look at company stuff and this decision will break that down.”

    ‘Using Yahoo’

    “What’s significant about this case is that they were allowed to use the content, not simply the fact of using Yahoo,” said Burd.

    Bogdan Mihai Barbulescu took his case against Romania to the human rights court in 2008, arguing that his employer’s decision to end his contract was based on a violation of his rights to respect for his private life and correspondence.

    Barbulescu, who worked with his former employer as an engineer in charge of sales from 2004 to 2007, was asked to create a Yahoo Messenger account to answer clients’ queries. In July 2007, he was informed that his chats had been monitored over several days, showing he had breached company rules by using the service also privately. A 45-page transcript also included a few messages he had exchanged with his fiancee.

    “The employer’s monitoring was limited in scope and proportionate” and in addition, the employee hadn’t “convincingly explained why he had used the Yahoo messenger account for personal purposes,” the European court said. “There is nothing to indicate that the domestic authorities failed to strike a fair balance.”

    ‘Liberal Stance’
    “In my view, the court is taking a very liberal stance,” said Tom De Cordier, a lawyer at CMS DeBacker in Brussels.

    “Employers should be careful not to draw too general conclusions from this decision.

    Much of the court’s decision seems to be based on the fact that the employee had claimed that the relevant communications were of a professional nature.”

    The ruling highlights the need for workers to beware of the pitfalls of using social media and e-mail at work, said Claire Dawson, an employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon in London.

    “Some employers allow for ‘reasonable personal use’ of company systems,” Dawson said. “Others impose a complete ban. The advice to employees is clear: check what your employer’s policy is and operate within it.”

    Bosses can snoop on private messages, court rules | Fin24

  3. #3
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    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Barbulescu, who worked with his former employer as an engineer in charge of sales from 2004 to 2007, was asked to create a Yahoo Messenger account to answer clients’ queries. In July 2007, he was informed that his chats had been monitored over several days, showing he had breached company rules by using the service also privately. A 45-page transcript also included a few messages he had exchanged with his fiancee.
    It seems to me that the problem was that he used the same account that he was supposed to be using for company purposes. Had he used a different (personal) account to chat to his family and friends, I doubt there would be a case.

  5. #5
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    If you use private online messaging while you are at work you
    are stupid

    anything you do on your work computer can be used against you by them cnuts in HR

    and in this day and age of mobile data comms why would you bother doing anything personal on a work computer

    my company deployed "spark " as a work PM system - I have no wish to even log on to it - I will stick to email and use it as if it is being electronically scanned continiously

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    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    Better make sure to stay at your desk as well.


    The Daily Telegraph has been criticised by the National Union of Journalists for carrying out “surveillance” on its journalists by installing devices that monitor whether they are at their desks.

    Journalists at the newspaper’s London HQ arrived on Monday morning to find the boxes, which track whether someone is at their desk using heat and motion sensors, BuzzFeed reported. Telegraph management emailed staff at lunchtime, saying the monitors would be in place for four weeks to help plan measures to improve energy efficiency.
    NUJ criticises Daily Telegraph for monitoring journalists' desk time | Media | The Guardian
    Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do, whereas priests... more drink!

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