The right to privacy also extends to the workplace. This means that employers may not always, for example, monitor or have employees monitors, view e-mails or internet use, or process (medical) data about absenteeism due to illness.
As soon as personal data of the staff is processed, a balance will have to be made between the interests of the employer – for example to prevent theft or fraud – and the interests of the employee in protecting his or her privacy. In this consideration, many factors must be taken into account, such as the type of personal data, what it is used for, how long information is kept, who has access to the processed data, etc.
Practice shows that this assessment is not always easy to make. Certainly in view of the accelerating development in technologies for processing and combining personal data. This while people are becoming increasingly aware of their right to privacy at work and the importance of protecting it. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 clearly shows this.