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Monitoring of corporate email account and violation of the employee’s privacy (Il Commerci@lista, Lavoro e Previdenza September/October 2017, Vittorio De Luca)

With judgment dated 5 September 2017, in the case Barbulescu vs. Romania (No. 61496/08), the Grande Chambre of the European Court of Human Rights reversed the previous ruling of the European Court of Human Rights dated 12 January 2016 on the matter of the right to privacy in correspondence, considering it, at the contrary, a breach of article 8 CEDU on the basis of the fact that the “private life” and “correspondence” concepts can be applicable also to communications performed in the workplace and that the worker has the right to be informed regarding the methods used to monitor such activity. In this regard, article 4 of the Workers’ Charter, as amended in 2015 by the Job Act, appears to be fully in line with the identified criteria giving, in fact, to the employer the possibility of accessing the corporate email only after having previously informed the employee regarding (i) the method of use of the IT tool and (ii) the method applied to perform the monitoring activity.