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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47406
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A work colleague of mine shared a private message sent from

Customer Question

A work colleague of mine shared a private message sent from both of our private phones with a manager. This has led to a investigation. What rights does the company have to use this?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hi there, the employer would not be prevented from using this message as part of the investigation or as evidence against you. Just because it was sent from your personal phone to another personal phone does not make it protected in any way. There would have been an argument that it should not be used if the employer had accessed your phone without your consent and seen the message, but if it was provided by the recipient of the message then the employer has not done anything wrong in the way they got the message and they can use it if they need to. The recipient would not have been under any legal obligation to keep the message confidential – they are not an official data controller who had received the message under formal data processing and as a private conversation he is free to forward that to whoever he wants, including the employer. In turn, the employer, having not accessed the message unlawfully is then free to use that as evidence as they see fit.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.