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NSW Breach of Privacy by New Manager?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Mrsheslop, 18 January 2016.

  1. Mrsheslop

    Mrsheslop Member

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    My mother has just left her job as manager of a company. In doing so, the work laptop she used stayed at the company. My sister remains an employee of this company. In a private facebook message between my mother, my sister and another employee they were asking my mother some work based questions. Friday had just gone and the new boss of this company called a meeting with my sister and other employee and was using specific details that could only be obtained from those private messages and disciplined the employees for discussing work information to anyone no longer in the company, which was never before mentioned to them.

    On trying to figure out how this new boss could have possibly come across this information, it became clear that it was done by using either my mother's old work laptop or my sisters existing work laptop and using the saved password to login to one of their private facebook accounts and read through this private conversation. Is this not a breach of privacy and isn't this illegal under Australian Law or Employment Law?

    Not only that, it was not discussed in a business account that should have been accessed or monitored by the new boss, but that the information gathered then, in turn, was used to gain standing for disciplinary action.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    The company's laptops, right?
    If so, then theirs to browse as they wish.
     
  3. Mrsheslop

    Mrsheslop Member

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    Yes company's laptop, but an unsigned in personal account with no connection to the business other then the use of the same computer.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    ...and no right to privacy of the kind you hope for.
     
  5. Mrsheslop

    Mrsheslop Member

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    God damn hey... people can get away with murder these days!! Lol
     
  6. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Not in the way you might think.
    1. If the work computer(s) belong to the employer, then the employer can examine them at any time.
      This includes remotely, such as by a Network Administrator or other technical person.
      It also includes forensically - you know that saying about "nothing is ever really deleted" ?
      That's pretty much true.

    2. People who stay logged in to computers that are not their own, and/or accessible by others, do so at their own risk.

    3. People leave their unsecured phones lying around too.

    4. If an employer wants to put key logging or other user tracking software on a laptop
      that they issue to an employee, then they are free to do that.
    Lastly - your employer is entirely within their rights to expect you
    to keep "company business" among "company people".
     

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