Technology has played a significant role over the years especially for the advancement of business organizations. Today employees within the business organizations are more productive than ever before. The reason behind the productivity of the employees totally depends upon the use of technological creatures in terms of cell phones, gadgets and computer devices connected to the internet. The use of the technology and its creatures enable us to consume less time and energies to gain more and more productive results that ultimately generate revenue and provide a good pay scale for the workers. However, the technology also has introduced an activity to keep an eye on the employee’s work performance and to keep an eye on their activities on the company’s owned devices in the shape of email monitoring of the employees.
Employee monitoring has significant media attention
Employee monitoring within the working hours has got considerable media attention over the years. European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Barbulescu Romania 12th January 2016, “ECHR has passed a judgment that employer could monitor and even get access to emails sent/received of employees on company’s equipment within the working hours.
However, the media reports have misled the decision in terms of employers will from now enable a carte blanche to monitor the employee’s emails and then it has hit the employees with a storm. On the other hand, the ECHR judgment was about some very particular aspects, in particular, a restriction on work on company’s owned devices such as mobile phones and computer machines and has not set a precedent for unrestricted monitoring by employers of emails sent or received by the workers within the working hours. On the other hand, it has served as a clear useful reminder for employers to have a clear policy about the personal use of the company’s equipment and surveillance on employees at the workplace. Moreover, employers can comply with the data protection of the company within the company’s owned devices and privacy laws when they are going to monitor communication in the workplace within the working hours.
Mr. Barbulescu has set up a Yahoo messenger account for professional use at very according to his employer’s request, on the other hands, the employers have informed him several times that their account is being monitored over several days. Moreover, the report says Mr. Barbulescu has used the company’s internet for personal reasons that were the violation of the company’s policy. The company has its crystal clear policy that it is strictly prohibited to violate the company’s role within the company’s premises and most importantly to use the company’s owned devices such as computers, telephones, and telex and fax machines for personal reasons.
On the other hand when the Barbules denied of using Yahoo messenger for personal reasons then his employer presented him with the proofs. Furthermore, the employers have forty-five pages of his communication that includes several instant messaging activities such as messages, chat conversations with his fiancé and with his younger brother along with the sensitive data about his health and sex life.
Later on, employers have fired him and they have used the transcript of his activities within the working hours using the company’s property in disciplinary proceedings. Furthermore, Barbulescu appealed to the court and claims that his emails were protected by the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights as pertaining to his private life and correspondence. At the end of the day, after watching all the evidence given by the company’s employers, The Bucharest County Court dismissed his appeal.