A company may not delete data from an email account of an ex-employee before it is certain that the employee no longer has any use for the data.
Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/13/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London http://www.grprainer.com/en explains: After the withdrawal from a continuing obligation, data from an account that was created as an email account for a party may not be deleted until it is certain that the user no longer has any use for the data created, if the company has permitted its employees to private use of emails and the internet. In its judgment of 5 September 2012 (Az. 4 W 961/12), the Dresden Higher Regional Court decided that breaching this duty could trigger a claim for damages.
The OLG was concerned with a case in which a company had provided the employee with a mobile telephone, including accessories, as well as an email account for the duration of the employment, which he was also allowed to use for private purposes. After the contractual relationship ended, the company demanded that the mobile telephone be returned. In the context of the legal proceedings, the employee demanded in turn that the company return all available data on the email account to him.
The OLG decided, that the company could no longer return the data, since it had already been deleted by the company. However, in deleting the data, the company had infringed ancillary contractual obligations. Among these obligations, there is also a duty to avoid harming the legally protected interests of the other contractual partner. Deletion of data from an email account, which was created by one of the contractual partners for the other one, may be carried out after the contractual relationship has ended only when it is certain that the other contractual party no longer has any interest in using the account, if the private use of the account by the contractual partner had been permitted.
About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP http://www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.
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GRP Rainer LLP
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