Employer may private communications of employees only after a prompt inspection

Employer may private communications of employees only after a prompt inspection

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Employers may use the private communications of their employees, just keep an eye on, as they are here in advance a notification about.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday (pdf).

The Court gives its ruling in a long-running case that was brought by the Romanian Bogdan Mihai Bărbulescu. He in 2007, was fired after his employer had noticed that he private conversations was conducted through Yahoo Messenger.

The Romanian felt that his privacy was violated by the employer. To national courts was, however, he is wrong, then he was in 2008 to the ECTHR stepped.

There caught Bărbulescu in the first instance, also bone. Article 8 of the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights, that a right to respect for private and family life warrant, was not violated, as the Court ruled last year. It was reasonable that the employer Bărbulescu private communications looked at in the context of a research to be a waste of time on his work, suggested to the judges then.

Duty of notification

In appeal decided in the Grand Chamber of the Court, however, that the privacy of Bărbulescu is indeed violated, because he has not received a message about the monitoring of his personal correspondence. Such notification is required to the privacy violation to justify the Court Tuesday. In the Large Room were eleven judges that there was an unauthorized privacy violation, while six judges did not agree were.

In its ruling, determine the Court continued that courts assess whether a privacy violation by an employer is justified, should investigate whether there are good reasons for the violation were. Also, it should be understood that there are no less intrusive measures were available.

Against the judgment of the Grand Chamber is no longer possible. As a result, all member states of the Council of Europe, including all EU countries, henceforth a duty of notification for the search of private communications by employers will have to maintain.

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