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The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, announced that all employers who monitor e-mail messages and other personnel communications must notify them before doing so.

This privacy provision came after a case involving “Vican Barbolescu,” a Romanian engineer who was fired from his job based on e-mail messages that the employer was watching.

He said the company he worked for did not tell him that he was monitoring his personal correspondence. The company was said to have received copies of the letters sent by the employee to his brother and fiancé shortly before he was expelled, according to the British ibtimes website.

The European Court of Human Rights found that the company that expelled the young man did not provide sufficient reason why his messages were monitored and whether there was criminal or illegal activity.

The court ruled that all employers should inform their employees about the nature and extent of their follow-up to their e-mails and other communications such as conversations, adding that there must be a legitimate reason behind the monitoring.