IP & Technology Review 18 April 2016

In its recent judgement R 17/745 concerning privacy in working life, the Turku Court of Appeal ruled on employers right to retrieve and open an employee’s work emails after the employee has resigned. The Court found that by forwarding e-mails from the employee's work account to their own accounts without complying with the statutory procedural provisions, the employers representatives had violated the of Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life (759/2004, as amended). The Court held that due to the fundamental nature of privacy, deviating from the statutory procedural provisions requires explicit consent of the employee and tacit consent cannot be deemed sufficient. It was undisputed in the case that the employers representatives had failed to comply with the required procedures even if the allegations did not concern retrieving or opening the employees private e-mails.

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