Work Email Privacy

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Hi,

I am querying work e-mails. As most companies do, I am provided with an e-mail address to carry out certain parts of my work such as emailing proofs to customers.

The e-mail "guidebook" that was sent round about 3 years ago said that we were allowed to use the email address for personal things such as e-mail family or friends, ordering items over the internet etc.

Now - I have known this for sometime now - since I started really. The way the exchange server is configured is that anybody that sends an email from their computers in the workshop area (which includes me), that email is automatically copied into the Manager and he can read all outgoing emails.

Further to this - all the emails that come in and out are sent to the Managing Director and he can read them. The MD at the plcae where i work is a complete arse, and has nothing better to do then sit and actually read the emails. He is always looking out for someone to bollock and so this is the way he think he can catch someone out.

So my question is - what is the legality of what my MD and Manager do? I know its a work email, and i don't use it for anything other than work - but surely if its a personal email, it should be not allowed for anyone to read the messages?

Ta
 
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jpmonkey69 said:
does it say in your computer usage policy that email can be read?

Errrr... dunno. Don't recall a computer use one. Only recall ever reading that bit about what we can use email for. Might have been in there.

This place doesn't really do policy's and stuff - I have still not recieved a written contract, after 3.5 years.
 
Don
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You could argue that it breaches the privacy and security act. But it does depend all upon the internet usage you should have signed when you joined the job.

It will be in your contract. If you've not signed a new one, then the current one will still be applicable, and they can't "do" you for it.

To be fair, it's a lot of hassle for not much end product, would make you come across badly.

I used to be a system administrator for an ISP (most of you would have heard of them) I supported about 110 users or so. I was not allowed to read their emails (we didn't use exchange any ways all locat pst's) or view their internet history due to the privacy act. Everything I had to do in regards to this, had to go through the personel department.
 
Don
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stuppy said:
Errrr... dunno. Don't recall a computer use one. Only recall ever reading that bit about what we can use email for. Might have been in there.

This place doesn't really do policy's and stuff - I have still not recieved a written contract, after 3.5 years.

You havn't recieved a contract ? If you've not recieved / signed a conract, you technically don't have a job and also any grounds for that job, or to complain. You have no rights apart from the basic human rights, and internet privacy is not one of them
 
Soldato
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stuppy said:
Errrr... dunno. Don't recall a computer use one. Only recall ever reading that bit about what we can use email for. Might have been in there.

This place doesn't really do policy's and stuff - I have still not recieved a written contract, after 3.5 years.

Then probably the manager doesn't do privacy and stuff :p

If you are bothered by it, that you are, use any free mail service that he can't check.
 
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hilly said:
You havn't recieved a contract ? If you've not recieved / signed a conract, you technically don't have a job and also any grounds for that job, or to complain. You have no rights apart from the basic human rights, and internet privacy is not one of them
internet privacy isn't a human right?? :eek: i swear it will be within the next 10 years :D
 
Don
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blighter said:
internet privacy isn't a human right?? :eek: i swear it will be within the next 10 years :D

Maybe, but if something isn't documented in his contract or internet useage policy (which he should have signed if there is one) then he has no rights to complain.
 
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Akira said:
There is no such thing as a private work email. Your bosses are perfectly within their rights.

as he said, when in work there is nothing private, and they have complete rights to read all your email.
 
Soldato
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hilly said:
You havn't recieved a contract ? If you've not recieved / signed a conract, you technically don't have a job and also any grounds for that job, or to complain. You have no rights apart from the basic human rights, and internet privacy is not one of them

Not at all - read up on employment legislation, I agree it doesn't cover what you do with your emails though.
 
Don
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Telescopi said:
Not at all - read up on employment legislation, I agree it doesn't cover what you do with your emails though.

Really ? I stand corrected. I thought all employees must have a contract with the company.

z0mbi3 said:
That's actually a good solution, although it doesn't address the legality issues the OP was after answering.

It also acts as a proxy, so if you send a link to that site, it should bypass the proxie settings, allowing you access to the site.

Either that, or something like browsefromwork.com or whatever that site is (use google), it loads the sites up within an internet page, but hte url doesn't change as it uses inbuilt proxies. So basically any time you go to a page, it shows as "www.browseatwork.com/543543.html" no indication of any site.

Any ways... back on topic.
 
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