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Lawsuit Raises Workplace Privacy Questions

PRIVACY LAW—U.S. & CANADA

February 9, 2012

A Toronto attorney reacts to the employee privacy suit filed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after employees discovered the agency had been monitoring their personal, password-protected e-mail accounts for two years. ITWorldCanada reports that, according to Canadian employment law expert Christine Thomlinson, Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act has statutes requiring that employers obtain consent to monitor employee e-mails, so, in this case, employees would have an expectation of privacy. An attorney with the U.S.-based Electronic Frontier Foundation says that while many organizations in the U.S. have clear guidelines surrounding activity on workplace computers, the issue of monitoring private e-mail accounts has been "largely untested" in courts, the report states.  
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