Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Advertisement

Europe says it's OK for the boss to snoop on your private messages at work

The ruling comes after a Romanian engineer was fired over private Yahoo Messenger chats.

Image: Shutterstock/auremar

EMPLOYEES WILL HAVE to think twice about using the internet to send private messages during office hours after Europe’s top rights court ruled that companies could monitor workers’ online chats.

The case revolved around a Romanian engineer who was fired in 2007 after his company discovered he was using Yahoo Messenger to chat not only with his professional contacts but also with his fiancee and brother.

Company policy prohibited the use of the messaging for personal purposes.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dismissed the engineer’s argument that the company had violated his right to confidential correspondence.

The court said it was not “unreasonable that an employer would want to verify that employees were completing their professional tasks during working hours”.

It added that the company had accessed the messages in the belief they contained professional communications.

The judges also defended the decision by Romania’s courts to allow transcripts of the engineer’s communications be used against him in court, saying “it proved that he had used the company’s computer for his own private purposes during working hours”.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

By withholding the identities of the people with whom he had communicated, Romania’s courts struck a “fair balance” between respect for privacy and the interests of the employer, the Strasbourg court ruled.

The ECHR’s judgements are binding on countries that have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights, which includes Ireland.

delete Source: Giphy

- © AFP, 2016

READ: Trains in the UK were delayed due to ‘strong sunshine’ this morning >

READ: Donald Trump ‘give credit’ to Kim Jong-un for way he dealt with executed uncle >

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (45)