Businesses monitoring their employees' email and Internet usage could be infringing the new Human Rights Act (HRA) published Monday, which codifies a person's right to privacy and private correspondence. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act that enables an employer to legally monitor their staff's suspected misuse of the Internet now seems likely to violate the human right to privacy within the workplace.
Companies must now obtain employees' consent to intercept or monitor their use of email and the Internet, or risk being sued under HRA 2000. The government has urged businesses to check that they have the necessary clauses in staff contracts to inform employees that their Internet usage is open to surveillance, and gain consent to do so.
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