Snooping or monitoring: call it what you will, but after a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights, your boss is allowed to do it.
The ruling dismissed a case in which a Romanian employee's Yahoo Messenger conversations were monitored by his boss.
Bogdan Mihai Bărbulescu was a sales engineer at a company in Bucharest when he was asked to create a Yahoo Messenger account to respond to sales enquiries.
In 2007, he was accused by his bosses of using the service for personal purposes, and was presented with transcripts of messages he had exchanged with his brother and his fiancee "relating to personal matters such as his health and sex life", the European Court said.
He was later fired "for breach of the company's internal regulations that prohibited the use of company resources for personal purposes".
Although Bărbulescu challenged his employer's decision saying emails were protected by the European Convention, yesterday the court of appeal dismissed his final appeal, saying it was "not unreasonable that an employer would want to verify that employees were completing their professional tasks during working hours".
So there you have it: keep those personal conversations to a minimum, or prepare to incur your boss' wrath...