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Employees are also often unaware that their employers have access to their internal chat platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, and that their conversations are not in fact private.
As we highlighted in our article last year, employers can rely on software to track how employees are spending their time – how many emails are being sent per hour, how often the mouse is used, what location they are working from and to monitor teams and other messaging channels traffic. Employees should not overlook this and be aware that their use of work devices and platforms is fettered.
But there are also tricky issues for employers, who cannot simply assume that the inadvertent appearance of private information on work-based systems means that all rights to privacy in that information have been waived. Employers should question whether their information security policies are adequate, and whether they have warned staff of the consequences of mingling work and private communications and the monitoring of such communications, as well as ensuring that the consequences that follow for employees are fair and reasonable.