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Anita P Panicker
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Consulting, Research, Hrm & Training
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HI Friends
Wanted to know whether any Act/ Law on InformationTechnology supports an employer's right to access an employee's official email account without the said employee's knowledge.
I have broadly heard that 'owners' of a business have a right to know what their employees are doing.
Can someone point me to any relevant section of Law / Act on this subject?

Occupier/Employer has right to see the official email without knowledge of employee keeping in mind of business ultimate control.
Coca-Cola, Bhopal
A contract employee was handling internet / computer service of the plant but as per company policy contract employee will not get any official email Id. But that gentle man created email Id in his name without any permission or information. HR manager had such type of accesibilty to know the information through system. He cought him and taken written. He removed from the service with immediate effect for voilating the company policy.
In a reputed company, I will not write name here, MD had accessiblity to pickup any phone call of emeployee by pressing code.
So employer has right to do this but it is not as per any law or rules regulation. Its company confidential matter.

Hi Kiran,

Good topic. I can't tell you about any law being in place but yes in a broader framework every Company's HR Policy manual has it defined either as a seperate policy or under "code of ethics".

I remember creating one such point called "intellectual property"in a code of ethics I was assigned to work on during my summers. And the compliance guy had specifically asked me to make note of it.

Now as per this clause - during his period of employment, with the company, whatever the employee creates , develops , innovates for the company is considered as an intellectual property of the company- such that if it is found that the employee in a particular way claims ownership on this data by forwarding the same to his personal account from his email id- he can be held up for it and tried for.

Thats one way to look at it if you are wanting to create such a system of security for company data. Looking into his /her company email account therefore stands to be more of right of the owners if they notice any suspicious activity by a particluar employee.

They have a right to investigate at the same time the employee has the right to defend himself.Period.

So you HR policy can answer that question for you. IT laws if any would be too generic. Please do research however on the later.

Hope that helps.

Best Wishes


Employers normally have policies on voice mail, email and internet usage.
For example the employer may dictate that email usage is solely for the purpose of conducting Company business and any private email by the employee would offend the provisions of this policy. In any case email is insecure and is readily available to the person maintaining the office server.
Internet use also creates the possibility of contamination via viruses, some of which compromise security and confidentiality of company information. Employers need provisions to ensure their systems are not compromised and one of the means is to have surveilance of email emanating from the office. The employer cannot be faulted for intrusion into the privacy of the individual as the system is owned by the employer and he has made it known that the employee is not to use the facility for his private business.
I doubt you have laws restricting the right of the employer to protect his business.
ganapathy ramasamy

Most of the Companies have their own network,they have made such rules in standing orders to access the information of employees's mail. Even they keep a track what type of mails are coming in going out.
Vikram Singh

the Question is Whether IT Act 2000 allows access to the employees account by employer with out the consent of employer.
The E-Mail IDs given under company domain are for official correspondence. In all company mail domain, it is notified that, company reserves the right to have access to incoming and outgoing mail from your mail ID. Your logging in is assumed as your automatic acceptance of above terms & conditions.
So it advisable not to use official ID for personal matters. Please remember the objective of company behind this, is not to evade privacy of employees, but to guard the interests of company against information pilferage. And information secrecy is of vital interest to all companies.

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