THE EUROPEAN COURT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (ECHR) has ruled in favour of the little man who may want to check out the internet even though they are supposed to be filing some crap or whatever else you are supposed to do in an office.
The ECHR sided with a Mr Bărbulescu, the chap who had been caught doing not strictly work stuff, in a case against the company that dismissed him for his efforts, or lack of effort when he was to be found using Yahoo Messenger to further his social life.
The ECR said that he had not been properly educated in the ways of work-placed web-browsing.
"The Court considered, following international and European standards, that to qualify as prior notice, the warning from an employer had to be given before the monitoring was initiated," it ruled.
"The Court concluded, from the material in the case file, that Mr Bărbulescu had not been informed in advance of the extent and nature of his employer's monitoring, or the possibility that the employer might have access to the actual contents of his messages.".
Privacy International has naturally welcomed the court's decision, and the setting in legal stone that people have the right to privacy in the work place, and that employers have no right to interfere in this.
It added that it answered a lot of questions, and should make it easier for workers to work, and employers to employ.
"The Grand Chamber judgement confirms that individuals have a right to privacy in the workplace. While employers may restrict such rights, insofar that it is deemed necessary, those restrictions cannot reduce private social life in the workplace to zero," said Privacy International Head of Policy and Advocacy Tomaso Falchetta.
"As the boundaries of work and private life become even more vague, particularly with the rise of the so-called gig economy and the exploitation of the personal data of individuals working for such companies, this judgement offers some important protections to employee's right to privacy." µ
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