Take It From Hillary: Issues with Emailing on Office Servers

March 13, 2015 – In The News
Corporate Counsel

Mark Ashton was quoted in the Corporate Counsel article “Take It From Hillary: Issues with Emailing on Office Servers.” Full text can be found in the March 13, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is busy learning from her alleged faux pas of using personal email accounts to conduct U.S. Department of State business, Mark Ashton explains that there are practical takeaways for anyone using an office server for email.

“Perhaps your electronic musings don’t have the importance of communications from the Secretary of State, but you should know that the law is clear,” he says. “You are entitled to no expectation of privacy if you use an office computer to carry your personal email.”

An employer has the right to retain and review emails through accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo or MSN. Ashton notes that while not every office is actively doing this, it’s generally a function of the server and not driven by office policy.

Ashton explains that if someone is suing you civilly, he or she may try and subpoena your email accounts at home or work, and “there is a reasonable chance that the information will be published.”