European Court Rules – Companies Can Track Employees’ Private Online Chats

Chat privately on your phone

The European court of human rights (ECHR)discharges privacy concerns as far as workers’ private online chats at work are concerned. This was clearly illustrated when a Romanian engineer got fired for communicating with his fiancée by using Yahoo Messenger at work. If you are an employee in Europe, you may want to reconsider your decision before sending private messages to your family or friends over the internet during working hours. These actions are enforced by Europe’s top rights court.

The case was mainly based on a Romanian engineer who got fired in the year 2007 when the company he was working for found out that he was chatting with his fiancée, brother and professional contacts by using Yahoo Messenger. The company policy restricted personal messaging using the messaging app. The Romanian engineer’s claims that his right to confidential correspondence had been violated by the corporation were discharged by the European Court of Human Rights.

In accordance withthe European Court of Human Rights, it is judicious for an employer to ensure that the staffs are carrying out their professional duties as expected during working hours. The court firmly seconded the ruling that was passed against the engineer by the Romania’s courts, which involved the use of the engineer’s transcripts. According to the court, the transcripts clearly substantiated that the engineer had used the company’s communication resources for his own personal reasons while at work.

According to the court in Strasbourg, it was fair for the Romania’s court to hold back the identities of the individuals the engineered had communicated with while at work. This drew the line between the comforts of the employer and respect for privacy. If you come from countries that have endorsed the European Convention on Human Rights, then you should know that the ECHR’s judgments are binding and you should be careful not to chat privately at work.

Privacy may be dead in such countries, but that does not mean that you have to entertain your employer monitoring your every electronic move. It is very simple to know for certain that you are being watched. If you are using a company smartphone or a company-supplied computer on a corporate network, then be certain that your activities are being monitored. However, you can escape the eventualities suffered by the Romania’s engineer by using your personal gears and a VPN such as LimeVPN.

The best way to circumvent your employer’s monitoring schemes is by using a PC or a mobile device that only you control. In simple words, use your own computer (laptop) or your own mobile device (smartphone) and your own network (such as broadband network). If the above mentioned tactics are too much for you, you can always use internet-connected tablets, such as an iPad along with an anonymous VPN. If a smartphone was issued to you by your company, you should never assume that your personal chats are private. Always check your organization’s policy as far as chatting with friends and family is concerned at work.