Ex-employee e-mail 'gray area'

Giving rights to someone for an ex-employee's mailbox is a gray area when it comes to data protection legislation.

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In the tip Handle a former employee's mail, part 6, the suggestion is that the manager is given rights to the ex-employee's mailbox. This is fine in theory, but having worked on compliance with the data protection legislation, I would suggest this is a gray area. If the ex-employee left on less than cordial terms, you would not want to give them grounds for a complaint.

A more acceptable way of dealing with this is to set up a rule, or rules, that forward mail with appropriate subjects or content. You can send the mail to a colleague or a manager, whomever is deemed suitable. This way, you are at least complying with the guidelines that say any monitoring should be automated whenever possible.

This was first published in September 2003

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