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Businesses/employers can monitor and 'breach' privacy

kat · 1 · 10114

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Offline kat

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ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) rules that businesses can monitor and 'breach' a persons privacy...

... if the individual engages in 'personal' communication/s whilst at work
. [source]

Decision of the Court

Article 8
The Court considered that the fact that the employer had accessed Mr Bărbulescu’s professional Internet account and that the record of his communications had been used in the domestic litigation to prove the employer’s case was sufficient to engage the applicant’s “private life” and “correspondence”. It therefore found that Article 8 was applicable.

Firstly, however, it did not find it unreasonable that an employer would want to verify that employees were completing their professional tasks during working hours and noted that the employer had accessed Mr Bărbulescu’s account in the belief that it contained client-related communications.

Secondly, Mr Bărbulescu had been able to raise his arguments related to the alleged breach of his private life and correspondence before the domestic courts and there was no mention in the ensuing decisions of the actual content of the communications. Notably, the domestic courts had used the transcript of his communications only to the extent that it proved that he had used the company’s computer for his own private purposes during working hours and the identity of the people with whom he had communicated was not revealed.

The Court therefore concluded that the domestic courts had struck a fair balance between Mr Bărbulescu’s right to respect for his private life and correspondence under Article 8 and the interests of his employer. There had therefore been no violation of Article 8 of the European Convention.

Article 6
The Court declared this complaint manifestly ill-founded as Mr Bărbulescu’s concerns had been considered by the Court of Appeal which found them, in a sufficiently reasoned decision, to be irrelevant.