European court decision highlights issues around workplace privacy

Monitoring email among challenges for employers
By John Dujay
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/02/2017
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Credit: Botond Horvath (Shutterstock)

A recent court decision out of Europe made waves recently in stating companies must tell employees in advance if their work email accounts are being monitored.

The European Court of Human Rights concluded that Romanian courts failed to protect an employee’s private correspondence because his employer had not given him prior notice it was monitoring his communications.

Bogdan Barbulescu was fired in 2007 after his employer discovered he was engaging in personal conversations with his brother and fiancée using a Yahoo Messenger account he had set up for the company’s business-related use. He was dismissed “for breach of the company’s internal regulations that prohibited the use of company resources for personal purposes,” according to the court.