Privacy and te works computer

  Taw® 16:43 09 Sep 05

Can anyone direct me to some substantial information on the rights employers have to the information stored on their computers and emails or the rights of the empoyees privacy on works computers?

  Pooke 17:17 09 Sep 05

"the rights employers have to the information stored on their computers."

I would assume all of it as it's their property.


  spuds 17:40 09 Sep 05

This might help click here click here

When I employed people, I made it quite clear as per employment contract terms that every employee agreed to search procedures whilst on company property.

  octal 18:38 09 Sep 05

An employer can read business related e-mails addressed to an employee, however, they cannot read their personal e-mails with respect to their rights for privacy which extends from their private life to the work place.

click here

  Taw® 19:52 09 Sep 05

Very interesting reading thanks.

What about files contained on the firms server under my name or marked personal?

As you can gather I have a little disagreement going on about what is private and what is not.

Also if an employee is absent, does the employer have the right to go through your server and computer files in order to carry on with their business? and should I save personal stuff on my works computer?

Before anyone panics, there is no court case pending (or I would be with my lawyer) more of a I'm right there right situation

  octal 20:09 09 Sep 05

"Also if an employee is absent, does the employer have the right to go through your server and computer files in order to carry on with their business?"

Yes, and why not? It does say the employer mustn't read your personal information, but to carry on their business the employer has every right to look at your computer files for anything related to the running of their business. Your employer should already have an "Acceptable use policy" in place to address these issues, if they haven't they could leave themselves liable.

If you are worried about keeping personal information on the computer, remove it onto a flash drive, then there won't be any worries.

  Forum Editor 23:14 09 Sep 05

are just that - the property of the company. When it comes to the data files stored on the machines the same thing applies, although there are some grey areas. Most companies now notify their staff that they may monitor both inbound and outbound email and other forms of communications, and there is no absolute right to privacy when it comes to personal emails that are stored on company-owned hardware. The company may be liable in law if an employee uses computer equipment for illegal purposes, and it's not unknown for staff to flagrantly misuse their employers' resources. I once discovered that an employee at one of my client's offices was running a horse racing tipster business on the company's server.

In the main, companies understand that they must notify staff (very clearly) about what they can, or cannot do where computers and the internet are concerned, and provided they do that, and tell staff that they may monitor communications to ensure that their policies are being adhered to, then staff have no cause to complain - compliance with company rules about use of email, the internet, and computers for private purposes is part of the conditions of employment.

Some companies may make arrangements with some staff which permit people to use personal directories to store private data files, but it's unusual. In the main you should assume that an employer has a perfect right to inspect the contents of a company-owned hard drive at any time - whether or not the computer user is present - if it's suspected that there may be inappropriate use of company equipment and/or resources. The equipment belongs to the employer after all, and is for the purposes of conducting a business.

To be honest, it's very unwise to use your employer's property to store personal files, and you only have yourself to blame if you're caught doing it without permission.

  VoG II 23:22 09 Sep 05

but I will just add that the employer usually owns the equipment and that includes the messages. You don't own anything stored on their equipment.

I actively discourage my friends from contacting me using my work e-mail address.

  rdave13 00:00 10 Sep 05

If you take a firms van for personal gain without permmission then it's the "heave ho".

If you use the company's comp. without permission then it suerly follows the same procedure.

Company property is just that. If you want to use company property for personal gain you must ask permmissiom and get a chit for proof.

Times are hard and look as if they are getting harder so beware company policies and adhere like glue:))

  rdave13 00:02 10 Sep 05

permmissiom should be permission..oops

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