European Court of Human Rights issues landmark ruling on employee monitoring | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
European Court of Human Rights issues landmark ruling on employee monitoring

European Court of Human Rights issues landmark ruling on employee monitoring

The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that employers may, in some circumstances, monitor employees' personal communications in the workplace.

On 12 January 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR") issued its judgment in the case of Bărbulescu v Romania (61496/08), in which it confirmed that employers are permitted to monitor employees' personal communications in the workplace, in certain circumstances. The case comes at a time when it is increasingly common for employees to have access to company-owned networks and systems. Many employers wish to ensure that those networks and systems are being used properly, both in terms of security and employee productivity. This decision provides critical clarity on how to address these issues, although employers should bear in mind that this remains a complex topic in many.

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