Cecile Martin writes:
By a decision of October 21, 2009 (n°07-43877), the French Supreme Court ruled that files created by an employee on a computer issued by his employer for work purposes were presumed professional unless the employee identified them clearly as personal. This being said, the Court concluded that the employer was entitled to open these files in the employee’s absence and without having informed the employee in advance.
In this case, the employee was suspected by his employer to have competed unfairly with the employer’s business. To investigate these suspicions, the employer requested a bailiff to seek evidence from the employee’s work computer. In order to prevent the employee from erasing the evidence, the employer did not alert the employee that his work computer would be examined.
Read more on Proskauer Privacy Law Blog.
[Headline corrected thanks to an observant reader — thanks!]