Access to Workers’ e-mail: Protection of Personal Data of Third Parties
On January 23, the Supreme Court rejected the unification of the case law of a worker who had reported that her dismissal originated after her employer decided, without her authorization, to review her institutional email, and verified that she shared data with direct competition and his daughter (who was engaged in the same employer category). Although the First Labor Court of Labor accepted the demand for protection for violation of fundamental rights (Article 19 No. 5 of the Constitution that protects the inviolability of all forms of private communication), the Court of Appeals reverses it, which is ratified by the Supreme Court.
It is necessary to weigh the rights protected, in this case what prevailed was the protection of personal data to third parties.
It is fundamental to justify the measure of revision of electronic mails of workers, this does not proceed in any case. The measure must be justified (there are real suspicions of irregular behavior), reasonable (using equipment owned by the company), suitable (worker shared information with competing company), necessary (no less harmful means to verify the facts, not being able to wait for the worker to be reinstated given the legal interests at stake) and balanced (no personal or family information of the applicant was known, only business data).
By María Elena Reyes