30 Oct Are employers allowed to read personal folders?
Firstly, it is important to make a distinction between personal and private folders and emails. Under GDPR, its strongly recommended that the organizations servers do not contain private information at all.
Personal folders and emails are emails sent to or from a specific person within the organization, and files saved in locations where only a specific person has access, for instance a “My documents” folder.
It is clear in all jurisdictions that any information produced by an employee in the line of work is the sole property of the employer. However, it is not clear to what extent, and for what purposes, an employer has the right to read such personal emails and documents in personal folders.
Aigine is not only based on legal insights, it’s a solution that also takes process and competences into account in order to solve the challenge with personal data.
Our recommendation is therefor that the review of personal file and email folders are delegated to the individual person that has been using them. This person is the most competent to decide whether an email or document should be deleted or masked, or if it exists a legal ground to continue processing it, and whether it should be moved to a new location. To enhance the legal decision making, we provide a contextual knowledge database, and cognitive abilities giving suggestions for legal ground.
Such an approach also minimizes any legal questions about the right to read personal emails and folders. It is simply not needed.