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Employees risk loss of privacy and embarrassment for convenience

Posted by rjbiii on August 31, 2007 has posted an article written for the New York Law Journal warning that private emails may turn public, because employees use business computers for personal use, and personal devices to work on business-related projects.

As these results indicate, courts and attorneys are likely to face an increasing number of requests for access not only to an employee’s business e-mail, but also to any business-related e-mail that may be found in the employee’s personal e-mail or stored on the employee’s home computer. This reality can raise privacy concerns and questions about whether a subpoena or document demand to a company should be read to reach the personal e-mail accounts of the company’s employees.

Anyone who has been in litigation support long has seen examples where the expansion of custodians extended to private data sources (such as yahoo email accounts and personal desktops sitting at employees’ houses) has occurred because employees use those personal sources to conduct business activities. Conversely, private communications have been subject to review because those communications were sent from company sources.

Here at Post Process, we see the trend increasing, even with the growing awareness of the incidents by employees and companies. For one thing, it is just too convenient to, say, pay a bill online, rather than leave the workplace and physically go to the bank. Such uses can save both the employee and the company time. That said, privacy is often sacrificed by convenience.

Posted in email, H. Christopher Boehning, Privacy, Scope of Discovery, Trends | 2 Comments »