Privacy Advisor

Global Privacy Dispatches- Israel- Email Monitoring

December 1, 2007

By Dan Or-Hof

Email Monitoring Decision Under Appeal

Last July, the District Labor Court of Tel-Aviv ruled that an employer must comply with the
provisions of the Israeli Wiretap and Protection of Privacy laws, prior to accessing employee‘s emails. The decision was delivered in a legal suit brought by Tali Isacov against her former employer and was the first in Israel to address the issue of workplace email monitoring. The court further held that Isacov implicitly gave her employer permission to read her email messages because the mailbox was provided to her by her employer for work purposes and the employer provided the employees with a prior notice on occasional email monitoring. The judge noted that the employee mixed personal content with professional content in her email box, thus waiving her right to privacy in her personal messages. The court has therefore ruled in favor of the employer.

Isacov recently has appealed the decision to the National Labor Court, claiming that the decision unreasonably affected her rights to freedom and privacy. The appellate court‘s decision has not been delivered yet.

Dan Or-Hof is a senior counsel at Pearl Cohen Zedek and Latzer LLP, with specific expertise in data protetion and privacy law. He may be reached at dano@pczlaw.com.