I’m new here!
This is related to UK ICO/Employment Law. I am office based.
A complaint was made by a colleague in another department about their team mate (they suspected that our work msg service (slack) was being used to talk about them. Bosses (owners of company) went through their private DMs and found many conversations, including a conversation with myself where I’d given an opinion on said employee (he’s very distracting and frustrating at times!).
This resulted in the company owner logging into my computer to read messages across all comms channels when I was ooo, they even searched for specific names (the owners names, who weren’t even involved in this complaint (what is this entrapment?!). Thankfully they didn’t find anything that was particularly bad - just opinions. The following week the bosses announced that a company wide investigation would take place regarding messaging apps, and they asked everyone (including me) for our password pins so they could access our work computers. I thought this odd as I knew they had already accessed mine (the document of screenshots of my conversations still saved on my computer proved this).
I’m frustrated because all other employees were given the opportunity to clean up their messages. We have not been treated equally.
They also lied to my face about this.
In addition, we have no IT use policy, at no point have they ever said they would monitor our activity, nor have they outlined their expectations in any company docs or contracts relating to how we should communicate. In fact, our contract says that they will obtain explicit consent for any personal data requests.
Of course I appreciate that it’s company property, but there are grey areas;
We are asked to BYOD (bring your own device) for work, so messaging platforms are installed on our personal devices.
We don’t have IT policy in place, and they have never outlined that they would monitor activity. They have never provided expectations or parameters on how we should use IT equipment.
It feels somewhat targeted, I feel like I have been singled out as others haven’t been treated the same.
As far as I’m aware there was no lawful reason for them to go through my computer, or suspect me of shady activity.
It’s my view that we have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and that colleagues should be treated equally.
Has anyone ever been in this situation? Legally where do I stand? Has there been a breach? Or do I just need to accept it?
Many thanks in advance!