Can the administrator of the business delete my emails, send emails from my account without me knowing ? This is a big company so the emailing system is professional
This is a trickier question than it may seem, because it’s at the intersection of privacy and corporate intellectual property. I bet you signed an employment agreement when you joined your company, for example, and that agreement states that the company basically owns everything you do on work time, with work equipment. This, of course, extends to email and a surprising number of companies monitor employee email, with the tacit blessing of the courts.
On the other hand, the law is still a bit gray here, hence “tacit” in the sentence above. For example, the Duke Law and Technology Review writes: “Employer monitoring of electronic mail constitutes an emerging area of the law that is clearly unsettled at this point in time. This brief demonstrates that the privacy rights of non public-sector employees are relatively unprotected by the federal and state constitutions, broad judicial interpretations of enacted privacy legislation favor legitimate employer-monitoring practices, and many of the elements of common law claims are difficult for employees to prove.”
On the same topic, the American Management Association comments that “Computer monitoring takes various forms, with 36% of employers tracking content, keystrokes and time spent at the keyboard. Another 50% store and review employees’ computer files. Companies also keep an eye on e-mail, with 55% retaining and reviewing messages.”
Clearly, it’s not uncommon for you to find that your email is being monitored. What you’re asking about, however, goes beyond passive monitoring and moves into invasive, malicious activities. if you can document that an administrator is actually going into your email account and deleting mail, and far worse, masquerading as you to send out messages, I would definitely bring it up immediately with both your supervisor and someone in HR.
Whether it’s legal or not — and I surmise that it is indeed illegal to masquerade as someone else when you’re sending email unless you have their explicit permission — it’s certainly unethical and unprofessional and you shouldn’t have to stand for it.
Good luck with this challenging situation.