In a decision rendered on January 12, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) held that the dismissal of an employee for having used his professional email account for personal purposes during working hours did not violate Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights1.

The applicant, a Romanian national, was employed by a private company from 2004 to 2007 as an engineer in charge of sales. At the employer’s request, he created a Yahoo Messenger account to respond to client enquiries. In July 2007, the employee was informed by his employer that his Yahoo Messenger account had been monitored for a week and the records showed that he had used the device for personal purpose, whereas the company internal regulations expressly prohibited the use of company device (e.g., computers, telephones) for personal purposes….delonbouquet