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Email snooping could break privacy laws

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Nearly 40% of UK firms employ people to read or analyse the employees outbound emails, according to new research by messaging security software specialist Proofpoint.

Companies estimate that nearly 1 in 5 outgoing emails (18.1%) contains content that poses a legal, financial or regulatory risk.

More than 70% of companies have disciplined employees for flouting email policies. One third have of the organisations surveyed said the breach had been so serious it had resulted in dismissal.

But lawyers are sounding a note of caution – if your email policy allows staff to send personal emails, then reading them without telling staff that emails are monitored could be a violation of the right to privacy enshrined in the Human Rights Act.

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