English

T-574/17
 

SCOPE OF THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY AGAINST THE DISSEMINATION OF VIRTUAL CONVERSATION OF CHAT CREATED  IN THE LABOR ENVIRONMENT.

 

The petitioner is part of a WhatsApp group created in the company where he works. The main purpose of the chat was to be an agile and effective communication channel to inform the work team about labor issues. The plaintiff says that by Whasapp he sent voice notes inviting all his colleagues to break their work duties. The defendant company considered that such conduct violated not only the service provided, but also decreased sales and ignored provisions established in the internal regulations. Based on this criterion, a disciplinary process was initiated that suspended him for five days of work, without payment of salary during that term.

The complainant considered that they violated his fundamental rights, especially his right to privacy. The Court dealt with the following topics: The right to privacy and its limits; the degree of protection according to space and context; the right to privacy and the workplace, and the WhatsApp with the expectation of privacy.

The Court found that the right to privacy was not violated. He indicated that the conformation of the chat supposes that the virtual space created in use of technology can be considered analogous to what constitutional jurisprudence has called a semi-private space. This means that the creation of a group on WhatsApp does not suppose an expectation of privacy, because it is not intimate or sensitive information that interests only the petitioner, but it could circulate among all the members of the group, in which representatives of the employer.