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French bosses win right to read workers' texts
Workers in France with company mobile phones need to mind their text language from now on. Photo: Mobile Phone

French bosses win right to read workers' texts

Published on: 20 Feb 2015 13:39 CET

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Don't share any intimate personal info, don't bad mouth the boss and don't tell anyone you're pulling a sickie.

At least that's if your using your work phone in France.

This important advice is all thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision that gives employers the right to read private SMS messages sent from work phones.

The judgement, rendered public earlier this month, accepted the principle that the text message sent or received through a work phone “are assumed to be of a professional nature”.

In other words any text sent must be work-related rather than about anything of a private nature.

The Supreme Court’s verdict went slightly under the radar but affects hundreds of thousands of workers, Metro News reports.

The ruling states that bosses “have the right to consult messages on the work phone, in the presence of the employee, unless those messages are clearly identified as being personal”.

Supreme Court lawyer Jean-Philippe Duhamel said the ruling was made “for consistency and simplicity”.

A similar ruling was made in the past regarding work computers and emails sent from work accounts.

Duhamel says for workers to avoid text messages being used against them in disputes with their company then all they need to do is highlight the fact they are of a personal nature.

The word “personal” or even “perso” should suffice, he said.

The news drew mixed reactions from readers of The Local France. 

Facebook follower Jem Collins said that "common sense seems to be lacking; if you get caught doing stuff like this it's your own damn fault."
She added that she was "fed up of people who think it's acceptable to pull strokes and bitch about it when they get cornered. Instead of giving these fools work phones and laptops, a placard around the neck saying 'I'm likely to defraud you' would be more appropriate."
Yvonne Flavin felt that bosses checking texts was more of an incursion on the employee. 
"Goodness," she wrote. "They'll be intercepting what you do on the work wireless network next."

The Twitter user below added some advice to the mix:

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