ECHR Says it's Fine for Employers to Sift Through Workers' Online Communications

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Most of us raised our eyebrows, tutted and shook our heads when we heard about the Daily Telegraph’s weird employee-monitoring tools, though a ruling made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) this week could see even more invasive measures introduced by employers.

Having reviewed a case in which a Romanian engineer was sacked for using Yahoo Messenger to chat with both family members and colleagues from the office, the ECHR has given companies the green light to monitor workers’ online communications. Though the engineer claims his former employer breached his right to confidential correspondence, the ECHR doesn't see things that way.

According to the ruling, the company in question accessed the messages in the belief they contained professional communications. It added that it's perfectly reasonable for employers to verify that workers are completing their professional tasks during office hours. David Cameron has long wanted to withdraw the UK from the ECHR, presumably because he wants to keep snooping duties all for himself. [Guardian]

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