Brain Food: Webspace rules - Internet access at work

Brain Food: Webspace rules - Internet access at work - How far can employers go in checking up on staff who use the internet in company time? All the way in some cases - just ask any of the 40 people fired by Orange for downloading porn. So there are site

by IAN JEFFERY, a partner of Lewis Silkin Solicitors:jefferyi@lewissilkin.com

How far can employers go in checking up on staff who use the internet in company time? All the way in some cases - just ask any of the 40 people fired by Orange for downloading porn. So there are sites you should see and sites you shouldn't. But which is which?

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act now gives employees the right to sue where their e-mails are unlawfully intercepted. What is lawful interception? The DTI has tried to answer this question, but don't expect the final regulations safely to cover all current practices.

The Data Protection Act imposes a 'fair and lawful' requirement on all processing of personal data. This includes reviewing web access logs as well as e-mail traffic. Finally, the eighth of the all-new rights under the human rights legislation is the right to privacy. Public-sector employers in particular have to recognise this.

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