Who can “spy” my email?

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The new technologies and their application to the workplace have brought many advantages to both the employer and the employee, which both benefit equally.

Can the employer “spy” the email of their workers?

But the truth is that the incorporation of information technology and communications to our daily life is not without controversy by trimming potential rights that may involve such progress. And, against the obvious advantages that the computer and email offer employer and employee, the employer opens incitement computer monitor movements of their employees.

In this sense, workers are protected by the fundamental right to privacy and secrecy of communications, but it is necessary that the employer establishes a code of use of computer tools in which to determine whether staff or use by workers are allowed and communicate this irrefutably workers.

You can control what the employee does during working hours, carrying out control measures, but they must respect three basic principles:

  • Principle of necessity: must attend a cause that necessitates the act of interference;
  • Purpose principle: access to data the worker has to be made for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes;
  • The principle of transparency: the secret monitoring of communications is not covered by the law.

Personal emails of the employee are subject to the secrecy of communications, but have been sent by devices owned by the company, can not have the operation without a warrant, emails personal mail mailboxes of employees.

Workers expect to find at work a degree of privacy since it develops a significant part of their relationships with others. This right must be reconciled with the employer’s right to manage his business.

Guidelines to avoid conflicts

Therefore, to achieve a balance between the two rights and interests are fundamental the principle of proportionality and the precautionary principle. As recommended guidelines for early forecast of conflicts include the following:

  • Incorporation of agreements concerning the use of internet and email by workers to collective bargaining or contractual clauses;
  • Fix the ability of employees to open and manage private accounts;
  • Regular issues of data security;
  • Advertise control mechanisms;
  • The consolidation of a policy of using new technologies in the company agreed with workers’ representatives.

Ultimately, the company should seek to establish rules of conduct that address these conflicts when they arise in order to enable an equal relationship that tends to balance the natural imbalances that occur in social relations.

is strongly seasoned and hard-working Graphic Designer with extraordinary creative thinking and project design abilities. With 7 years experience in print and digital, including art direction, web/mobile design and consultation, illustration, packaging and copywriting/editing for clients in fashion, pharmaceutical, furniture, automotive, food & beverage, design, hospitality, financial, broadcast and NGO. I love sharing ideas and writing articles.

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