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What are my online privacy rights as an employee?

Every employee is guaranteed certain rights by law but it can be hard to figure out what you’re entitled to.

You are entitled to physical privacy, regarding parts of your office space such as desk drawers, and privacy in certain conversations. But what about your online privacy?

With the rise in technology, privacy rights are now even harder to navigate. Though there are laws protecting your online privacy, employers still have their own rights, as they still need to run and monitor their business.


Employers usually reserve the right to read their employees’ emails. If you have an email account provided by your company, it’s likely your employer is allowed to read any emails sent and received from that account.

There are even some cases where employers can copy all sent and received messages. This is used to ensure productivity and sometimes track illegal activity.

Internet usage

Similarly, your employer is allowed to monitor the websites you visit while at work. Blocking certain websites is also allowed. If you use a work-issued computer, your employer can certainly track what sites you visit. This information can be used in the same way as emails, to prove illegal activity or track productivity.

Your employer can even limit how long you spend on different websites.

Internet usage is generally essential in the workplace but sometimes comes with policy. Be careful with your online activity while at work and you shouldn’t run into trouble with these policies.

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The Grubb Law Group

The Grubb Law Group
1114 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25301

Toll Free: 866-851-9292
Phone: 304-982-7755
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