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ECHR landmark ruling on email use at work

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
ECHR landmark ruling on email use at work

Companies will need to make sure employees are aware in advance of management monitoring of their work email accounts after a landmark privacy ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

The judges in Strasbourg found the courts in Romania failed to protect a Romanian man’s private correspondence because his company had not given prior notice that it was monitoring his communications.

They ruled by an 11-6 majority that Romanian judges, in backing the employer, had failed to protect Bogdan Barbulescu’s right to private life and correspondence.

He was fired ten years ago for using a work messaging account to communicate with his family.

The company had presented him with printouts of his private messages to his brother and fiancee on Yahoo Messenger as evidence of his breach of a company ban on such personal use.