When using surveillance to monitor an employee’s internet usage in the workplace, has the employer’s interference of an employee’s Article 8 right to respect for private life and correspondence become so unfettered that the legitimacy of it is disregarded?

Macfarlane, Angela (2016) When using surveillance to monitor an employee’s internet usage in the workplace, has the employer’s interference of an employee’s Article 8 right to respect for private life and correspondence become so unfettered that the legitimacy of it is disregarded? In: SLSA Annual Conference, 5 -7 April 2016, Lancaster.

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Abstract

Internet and email communications are hugely important tools that we now use as second nature when communicating with colleagues and friends and family, both in work and outside of work. The advances in technology and the widespread use of smart phones and portable devices can blur the boundaries between work and personal life. Any expectation of privacy when communications relate to personal and sensitive information whilst at work is perhaps misplaced if you consider the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Barbulescu V Romania No. 61496/08 on 12 January 2016. In this case, the ECHR held that whilst Article 8 of the Convention, the right to respect for private life and correspondence, is engaged in the workplace it was not violated by the employer in this case because it found that its monitoring of the employee’s emails was sufficiently limited in scope and proportionate. The fact that the employer had made available the personal and sensitive content of the communications, which referred to sexual health problems, to the employee’s work colleagues who then discussed it publicly did not seem to trouble the court when balancing the need to protect his private life and the right of the employer to regulate its business. This paper will examine the judgment in the case and explore how the Court’s interpret the justification of an infringement of the employee’s Article 8 rights.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Angela Macfarlane
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 13:26
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2017 06:27
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/29238

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