Internal investigations: recent developments in Spain


To date, the Spanish Supreme Court’s Criminal Section (SSC) has issued very few rulings that specifically analyse the limits on controlling corporate electronic devices and communication channels

In this regard, some SCC precedents have set a clear separation between the right to the inviolability of communications and the rights to privacy and data protection. Following that interpretation, the inviolability of communications can only be limited by judicial authorisation –and this prevents access to all ongoing communications and emails that have not been opened by the addressee. By contrast, the rights to privacy and data protection can be subject to negotiation between employer and employee, and this allows access, among others, to emails that have been received and opened by the employee, web traffic data, data on the use of computer equipment to access other network services such as web pages etc.

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