It’s a slow day. Really slow and you’re bored, so you decide to fire up Facebook and check to see who’s messaged you. Twitter, Facebook, even your personal emails, we all have a way of communicating online. Might not be the best time to open up your personal messages at work though with the ECHR deciding that companies can read your private messages at work.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) declared that as a worker while checking his yahoo messenger at work, it was perfectly in its right as a company to read those messages. The Judges ruled that in the end he had breached the company’s rules and it had a right to check his activity while at work.
This ruling now means that all countries that are part of the European Convention on Human Rights, including Britain, must now follow this decision.
While at work the employee checked his Yahoo Messenger, something he used for both personal and professional contacts. As it believed the account in question was for work, the judges ruled that the company had not been in error on checking the contents of the messages.
While a scary president it lies on several factors, firstly a company would have to have a computer policy in place that means they can read your messages (this policy is something anyone who works with a computer on a daily basis should read, especially if you message on it). As a second step, how would you prove if an account is being used for “work”? Ultimately it’s something that Judges will have to step carefully with, with the ECHR even saying that policies must also protect workers against unfettered snooping.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.