Facebook, Twitter, Google Chat, WhatsApp and all the other messaging platforms should not be used at work, according to a warning issued to Britons. Such a warning follows a European court order that allow bosses to read private messages employees send during work hours, says a report from the Daily Mail.
Using Facebook at work can prove costly
In short, it can be said that bosses have got the right to spy on their staff members after the European court ruling. This is the outcome of a landmark case dubbed the “Snoopers’ charter” for employers, in which the European Court of Human Rights allowed bosses to read the personal messages their employees sent during work hours via private messaging platforms.
And it’s not just Facebook, but personal messages sent on Apple’s iMessage platform and picture-sharing platforms like Snapchat and Instagram will also be under employers’ monitoring.
An engineer at a Romanian company sent deeply personal messages during work hours over Yahoo Messenger, to which judges ruled that the company had the right to read them. This man was discussing some very intimate issues with his brother and fiancée, including his sexual health as well. The company had to fire him as he violated the rules that barred staff from using work resources for personal reasons.
Better safe than sorry
After this case, employees in Britain received a warning from legal experts that while working, they should keep in mind that their employers may monitor their online activity. The legal experts also advised staff members to be cautious and refrain from using smartphones, computers or iPads that their employers have provided for sending personal information, even after work.
Many companies already monitor staff members’ activities online on a routine basis, which includes reading work emails and tracking the web pages they visit. The entire purpose of this monitoring is to make sure that employees are not breaking the law, looking at porn, or sharing confidential commercial information. Firms also look for signs that some of their staff members might be considering leaving.
This sort of monitoring is allowed, with the only prerequisite being that the company should warn its staff about it in writing. However, after the latest ruling, privacy experts fear that corrupt bosses may take undue advantage of this benefit.