Olivier Proust writes:
On June 19, 2013, the French Court of Cassation ruled in favour of a company for having dismissed one of its employee’s (M. X) on the grounds that he was involved in unfair competition. M. X’s wrong-doing was based on email exchanges between him and a competitor that were found on his computer’s hard drive and used against him as evidence in court. M. X argued that this evidence was inadmissible because it was unlawfully obtained by the company in violation of his right to privacy and to the secrecy of correspondence. M.X claimed that the emails were private and that the company had made a copy of his computer’s hard drive without informing him and not in his presence.
Read more on Privacy and Information Law Blog. The case provides for an interesting contrast between French and U.S. standards. From my reading of Proust’s commentary, had the employee put “PRIVATE” in the subject line of the emails or stored them in a folder marked “PRIVATE,” the outcome of the case might have been very different.