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Updating the rights of email users

The issue of privacy in the use of email, especially as it affects employees and the right of their employer to access it, is a vexed one, which has caused much angst for both employees and employers. Of course there have been rather odd and funny situations which have arisen as a result of an employee's email becoming public.

Now, some sort of definition in the right of privacy in using the web has come out of Europe - as the IHT reports:

"The European Convention on Human Rights has just been updated for the Internet age to include the basic right to keep your personal e-mail messages and Web surfing private.

That, at least, is the precedent set by a court ruling earlier this month in Strasbourg in a case involving a Welsh college employee. The decision, coming out of the European Court of Human Rights, will affect subsequent human rights cases emerging from any of the 30 countries that have signed on to the convention.

In particular, the case applied to an employer's monitoring, collecting and storing a worker's personal Internet communications without ever saying that personal use of the Web was not permitted, or that personal use would be watched by the employer."

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