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Posts by: Clarissa Otto

Germany Issues Privacy Guidelines for Employer Access to Employee Email and Internet Use

employee email

Can employers look at the company email accounts of employees, such as when they do not show up to work? Can employers monitor employee Internet use during working hours? Can employers read employee emails if they use the company email account for personal purposes?

Companies face these and many more questions about employer-provided email accounts and Internet access every day. To give employers guidance on this, the German Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”) published “privacy guidelines” about using email and the Internet at the workplace. These guidelines provide essential information, practical tips and helpful advice on this topic.

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More Guidelines on Data Privacy Compliant Use and Monitoring of Internet and Emails in the Workplace in Germany

internet data privacy

Recently, the Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labor Court ruled on the rights of an employer to check browsing history without the employee’s consent.

Orrick’s German employment team published a client newsletter about this judgment which can also be found here.

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Germany Permits Consumer Protection Associations to File Class Actions for Violations of Data Protection Law

International Privacy Law

On December 17, 2015, the German Parliament passed a new act which permits consumer protection associations, industry and commerce chambers or other approved business associations to file privacy class actions. The law is expected to become published and be in force shortly.

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