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  • FIRST POST
    • Pipsqueakaboo
    • By Pipsqueakaboo 11th Nov 17, 11:35 PM
    • 1Posts
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    Pipsqueakaboo
    Unfair dismissal?
    • #1
    • 11th Nov 17, 11:35 PM
    Unfair dismissal? 11th Nov 17 at 11:35 PM
    Hi all. Iím new and not sure if this is the right thing to put on here.

    Iím looking for some advice

    I was let go from my company on Wednesday . Iíd been there 2 years doing admin support and some recruitment (a hybrid role) I worked with my team in Brighton. There were about 6 of us and I supported my manager mainly but looked after the whole team in terms of support, admin and resourcing.

    My manager left the company after having a fall out with the directors. He advised em to look for a new job as the company are being a***holes.

    My colleagues also starting looking for a new role.

    Me being loyal decided nope Iím fine here I like what Iím doing and I donít want to leave unless I have too.

    Anyway, I had a week off on a staycation. I had a call from the director to say that he was going to close the Brighton Office and would I be happy to commute to London 3 times a week and theyíd provide me with a work mobile and pay for my travel, I said yes Iím fine with that.

    He told me it wouldnít be for a couple of months sknnot to worry. I got a call the day after to say that if actually be going to the office in London starting on that Monday I go back - so I had to drop a whole day of my holiday to go to the office to collect all my stuff.

    Once up in London everything was fine and dandy for a few weeks, new manager, new team, new Office and a commute so I knew itíll take a while to settle in.

    Things slowly started changing, I got told my recruiter license was being taken away and given to another team memeber because I diddnt need it as much - even though I did, they then increased my targets, my manager was hardly there, the atmosphere was different and the managers changed and became less friendly to me.

    My old manager (the one who left, weíre good friends) he told me that they were trying to manage me out.

    They then took me to a meeting one day and gave me a promotion and a pay rise

    But without asking me if it was something Iíd want to do I was thrown into it. Again without any consideration to ask me first.

    I was then made a delivery consultant and had no admin or support duties where Iím strongest.

    So my target was increased but my tools were taken away so I found it very difficult. Because of this they put me on a performance review.

    My new manager told me this over the phone, diddnt give it to me in writing and said to me that she is going to review me for a week and we will discuss on the following Thursday.

    I managed to get 6 CVs to her by Wednesday, still time to get 4 more by Thursday considering I had no tools to do this, it was very hard to do.

    On the Wednesday morning she took me into a meeting room and told me that they are aware that I had been Ďlooking for a new jobí I told her that I wasnít. She replied that I put it on Facebook.

    Now I have none of these people on Facebook but I had my profile open to public which was stupid of me.

    Now looking back to this status. I diddnt actually say I was looking for a job. I asked if you needed a degree to get into an interior, architectural or lighting design role.

    This is the reason they sacked me, I was fighting back on this saying that I could have been asking on behalf of a friend etc but she wouldnít have it, she then told me that Iím behind and it wasnít working out with this stupid fake smile on her face.

    When she told me I had to leave she said I could take my stuff but I wasnít aloud to touch the computer.

    I had my LinkedIn left logged on but I wasnít thinking about that at the time. I left my work phone, work password and keyfob behind.

    The next day she calls me and says that she found an email to my old boss with CVs that I sent him for finance (whoops, big mistake, but I did that during s lunch break and he moved into finance and we are technology, I did double delete but they had a catcher for these emails) she must have been going back along way.

    But still she fired me before she found that. She then went on to read all my private messages on LinkedIn which I thought was very very rude of her and if I were there would probably have been arrested.

    I just canít believe how it ended. I was nothing but nice to those people and supported th and hadto drop everything of mine to support them on their stuff only to have it thrown back in my face.

    Am I over exaggerating to be this angry about it?

    Especially the manager who read my messages.

    I feel like Iíve had 2 breaches of privacy. 1 on Facebook (which was my fault as was public) but the 2nd on LinkedIn. She should have just logged me out.

    How can I resolve this? Do I have a leg to stand on to go legal?

    I mean they can fire me for asking a question about an other career. And even if I was looking for a new job thatís not illegal?

    Sorry for the really long post!
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 11th Nov 17, 11:59 PM
    • 4,019 Posts
    • 6,502 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #2
    • 11th Nov 17, 11:59 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Nov 17, 11:59 PM
    Hi all. Iím new and not sure if this is the right thing to put on here.

    Iím looking for some advice

    I was let go from my company on Wednesday . Iíd been there 2 years doing admin support and some recruitment (a hybrid role) I worked with my team in Brighton. There were about 6 of us and I supported my manager mainly but looked after the whole team in terms of support, admin and resourcing.

    My manager left the company after having a fall out with the directors. He advised em to look for a new job as the company are being a***holes.

    My colleagues also starting looking for a new role.

    Me being loyal decided nope Iím fine here I like what Iím doing and I donít want to leave unless I have too.

    Anyway, I had a week off on a staycation. I had a call from the director to say that he was going to close the Brighton Office and would I be happy to commute to London 3 times a week and theyíd provide me with a work mobile and pay for my travel, I said yes Iím fine with that.

    He told me it wouldnít be for a couple of months sknnot to worry. I got a call the day after to say that if actually be going to the office in London starting on that Monday I go back - so I had to drop a whole day of my holiday to go to the office to collect all my stuff.

    Once up in London everything was fine and dandy for a few weeks, new manager, new team, new Office and a commute so I knew itíll take a while to settle in.

    Things slowly started changing, I got told my recruiter license was being taken away and given to another team memeber because I diddnt need it as much - even though I did, they then increased my targets, my manager was hardly there, the atmosphere was different and the managers changed and became less friendly to me.

    My old manager (the one who left, weíre good friends) he told me that they were trying to manage me out.

    They then took me to a meeting one day and gave me a promotion and a pay rise

    But without asking me if it was something Iíd want to do I was thrown into it. Again without any consideration to ask me first.

    I was then made a delivery consultant and had no admin or support duties where Iím strongest.

    So my target was increased but my tools were taken away so I found it very difficult. Because of this they put me on a performance review.

    My new manager told me this over the phone, diddnt give it to me in writing and said to me that she is going to review me for a week and we will discuss on the following Thursday.

    I managed to get 6 CVs to her by Wednesday, still time to get 4 more by Thursday considering I had no tools to do this, it was very hard to do.

    On the Wednesday morning she took me into a meeting room and told me that they are aware that I had been Ďlooking for a new jobí I told her that I wasnít. She replied that I put it on Facebook.

    Now I have none of these people on Facebook but I had my profile open to public which was stupid of me.

    Now looking back to this status. I diddnt actually say I was looking for a job. I asked if you needed a degree to get into an interior, architectural or lighting design role.

    This is the reason they sacked me, I was fighting back on this saying that I could have been asking on behalf of a friend etc but she wouldnít have it, she then told me that Iím behind and it wasnít working out with this stupid fake smile on her face.

    When she told me I had to leave she said I could take my stuff but I wasnít aloud to touch the computer.

    I had my LinkedIn left logged on but I wasnít thinking about that at the time. I left my work phone, work password and keyfob behind.

    The next day she calls me and says that she found an email to my old boss with CVs that I sent him for finance (whoops, big mistake, but I did that during s lunch break and he moved into finance and we are technology, I did double delete but they had a catcher for these emails) she must have been going back along way.

    But still she fired me before she found that. She then went on to read all my private messages on LinkedIn which I thought was very very rude of her and if I were there would probably have been arrested.

    I just canít believe how it ended. I was nothing but nice to those people and supported th and hadto drop everything of mine to support them on their stuff only to have it thrown back in my face.

    Am I over exaggerating to be this angry about it?

    Especially the manager who read my messages.

    I feel like Iíve had 2 breaches of privacy. 1 on Facebook (which was my fault as was public) but the 2nd on LinkedIn. She should have just logged me out.

    How can I resolve this? Do I have a leg to stand on to go legal?

    I mean they can fire me for asking a question about an other career. And even if I was looking for a new job thatís not illegal?

    Sorry for the really long post!
    Originally posted by Pipsqueakaboo
    It appears that your dismissal was actually related to a failure to perform - you say that you didn't want the job, but you took it and you did it, so that a fairly conclusive agreement on your part. Did you say you didn't want to do it and refuse the pay rise? If you had more than two years employment, it's possible - based solely on what you have said here - that the process may have been inadequate. But a claim may not be worth much is, as you seem to agree, your performance was in fact inadequate. The reason is not really relevant.

    You should not have been using work computers for personal business at any time - but you left the computer logged on so the fact that they got access to your account is your fault. The computer isn't yours, and they can look at anything they want on it. If you want something to be private - don't do it on a works computer and make sure that your privacy settings are up to scratch. Although, that said, it's more often than not someone you know who hands over whatever you have said. Privacy settings only work if everyone you allow is trustworthy - the evidence suggest that often isn't the case.
    • Golfer6601
    • By Golfer6601 12th Nov 17, 12:09 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Golfer6601
    • #3
    • 12th Nov 17, 12:09 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Nov 17, 12:09 AM
    I would contact ACAS and explain the situation, unfortunately there are a few things that seem to be against you, sending CVs to a person who has left the company would be gross dismissal and they might even pursue legal action against you if you go after them.
    • Energize
    • By Energize 12th Nov 17, 1:24 AM
    • 328 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Energize
    • #4
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:24 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:24 AM
    It appears that your dismissal was actually related to a failure to perform - you say that you didn't want the job, but you took it and you did it, so that a fairly conclusive agreement on your part. Did you say you didn't want to do it and refuse the pay rise? If you had more than two years employment, it's possible - based solely on what you have said here - that the process may have been inadequate. But a claim may not be worth much is, as you seem to agree, your performance was in fact inadequate. The reason is not really relevant.

    You should not have been using work computers for personal business at any time - but you left the computer logged on so the fact that they got access to your account is your fault. The computer isn't yours, and they can look at anything they want on it. If you want something to be private - don't do it on a works computer and make sure that your privacy settings are up to scratch. Although, that said, it's more often than not someone you know who hands over whatever you have said. Privacy settings only work if everyone you allow is trustworthy - the evidence suggest that often isn't the case.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Accessing an employees private messages falls under the computer misuse act 1990. Just because an employee has session cookies or saved login credentials on the computer doesn't give an employer the right to then access data on a remote server using those credentials, that is illegal and in my previous position I would have fired a member of staff if they did that as it is a huge liability to the employer.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/1

    Unauthorised access to computer material.

    (1)A person is guilty of an offence if—
    (a)he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer [F1, or to enable any such access to be secured] ;
    (b)the access he intends to secure [F2, or to enable to be secured,] is unauthorised; and
    (c)he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.
    Last edited by Energize; 12-11-2017 at 1:29 AM.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Nov 17, 10:06 AM
    • 4,019 Posts
    • 6,502 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #5
    • 12th Nov 17, 10:06 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Nov 17, 10:06 AM
    Accessing an employees private messages falls under the computer misuse act 1990. Just because an employee has session cookies or saved login credentials on the computer doesn't give an employer the right to then access data on a remote server using those credentials, that is illegal and in my previous position I would have fired a member of staff if they did that as it is a huge liability to the employer.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/1
    Originally posted by Energize
    I would suggest that you check employment law. The computer is the property of the employer, and they did not access data on a remote server - the OP left the computer logged in. A computer that did not belong to them. Therefore, if the manager came across information which was simply sitting on a workplace computer then that is the OPs fault - had they not left their account logged in on a workplace computer it could not have happened. And that is assuming that (a) they had permission to use an employers computer for personal business, (b) they didn't use it during working hours (and, contrary to their assertion, it would appear that they did because they left it logged in!), and (c) the employer had no monitoring policy in place, which many actually do now.

    If you sacked someone for this then you would likely be the one in the employment tribunal.

    All of which is irrelevant because the reason for dismissal was, despite the OPs scattering of red herrings, performance related. If you are falling to do your job, whatever the reason, then leaving a trail of other things that you did in working time on the employers computer is just silly.

    As I said, it is possible that, if the OP is over the two years mark, that their process may be deemed technically unfair, if the OP wishes to risk it. But there are swings and roundabouts here, and the OP may win the battle and lose the war. Even if they won a claim, which is by no means guaranteed, the employer has even less reason than now to provide a reference. A couple of agency roles, and the OP should be able to cover this up - I'm not suggesting that anyone lie, but it is relatively easy to selectively not tell the whole truth. And two years or thereabouts is easy to cover - the employer dismissed for no good reason at all at the two year mark. Lots of employers do this and so it is a credible version. What employers are far more wary of is messy dismissals and employment tribunal claimants. There is nothing clear cut in this story - if there were I'd be saying to go to a tribunal (assuming they can). But there are always two sides to a story, and this version is too convoluted and had too many holes in it for me to feel comfortable advising such a strategy when it could easily make things worse, not better.
    • Energize
    • By Energize 12th Nov 17, 12:13 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Energize
    • #6
    • 12th Nov 17, 12:13 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Nov 17, 12:13 PM
    The OP didn't say that the manager came across information just sitting there, the OP said that the manager read ALL their private messages, that would require a deliberate act of requesting data from the linkedin servers that the manager knew they were not authorised to access.

    It doesn't matter who the computer belongs to in this scenario, when you access an online account such as linkedin or facebook etc you are accessing data on a remote server, it's a totally different scenario to reading messages that are stored on the local computer, the former is a breach of the computer misuse act and quite rightly considered gross misconduct by many employers, while the latter isn't.

    In non-technical terms it's analogous to entering the ex-employees house because they left their key at work or their door open.

    I am not saying that this in any way affects the dismissal, indeed the OP says that this unauthorised account access came after they were fired. I am raising it as a separate point should the op wish to make a criminal complaint against the employer for this breach of privacy. The OP did ask if they were right to be angry, and I would say they do, clearly it is inappropriate to go through an ex-employees personal messages on their online account, the professional thing to do is log out of that system. Proper IT procedure is to retrieve company data off the machine and then wipe it ready for the next employee to use it.
    Last edited by Energize; 12-11-2017 at 12:44 PM.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Nov 17, 1:56 PM
    • 4,019 Posts
    • 6,502 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #7
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:56 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Nov 17, 1:56 PM
    The OP didn't say that the manager came across information just sitting there, the OP said that the manager read ALL their private messages, that would require a deliberate act of requesting data from the linkedin servers that the manager knew they were not authorised to access.

    It doesn't matter who the computer belongs to in this scenario, when you access an online account such as linkedin or facebook etc you are accessing data on a remote server, it's a totally different scenario to reading messages that are stored on the local computer, the former is a breach of the computer misuse act and quite rightly considered gross misconduct by many employers, while the latter isn't.

    In non-technical terms it's analogous to entering the ex-employees house because they left their key at work or their door open.

    I am not saying that this in any way affects the dismissal, indeed the OP says that this unauthorised account access came after they were fired. I am raising it as a separate point should the op wish to make a criminal complaint against the employer for this breach of privacy. The OP did ask if they were right to be angry, and I would say they do, clearly it is inappropriate to go through an ex-employees personal messages on their online account, the professional thing to do is log out of that system. Proper IT procedure is to retrieve company data off the machine and then wipe it ready for the next employee to use it.
    Originally posted by Energize
    Then we will have to disagree, because currently employment law says otherwise when the material is on an employers computer.

    I suggest that the OP do exactly as you suggest - complain to the police. I'm sure that will really make things better. That is, assuming that "breach of privacy" is a criminal matter. But of course, it isn't, is it? There's no privacy laws in the UK. Nothing the police can do, except make everything worse. Of course, they could try to persuade the police that the criminal act you refer to was not caused by leaving a computer that didn't belong to them logged in - when you really shouldn't have been logged on to a personal site anyway. This is no different than being daft enough to leave your application forms on the desk. If you are careless with information then you should not be surprised if things fall into the hands of other people. What is "proper procedure" or "professional" is a matter of your opinion, not law. So it is irrelevant. What we have is someone who left their Facebook setting public; sent emails from their work account despite knowing that it was monitored; and then left LinkedIn logged in when they shouldn't have on a work place computer.

    Really, the wonder here is that people still haven't learned that personal business and workplace computers do not mix. Ever.
    • Energize
    • By Energize 12th Nov 17, 11:46 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Energize
    • #8
    • 12th Nov 17, 11:46 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Nov 17, 11:46 PM
    Then we will have to disagree, because currently employment law says otherwise when the material is on an employers computer.

    I suggest that the OP do exactly as you suggest - complain to the police. I'm sure that will really make things better. That is, assuming that "breach of privacy" is a criminal matter. But of course, it isn't, is it? There's no privacy laws in the UK. Nothing the police can do, except make everything worse. Of course, they could try to persuade the police that the criminal act you refer to was not caused by leaving a computer that didn't belong to them logged in - when you really shouldn't have been logged on to a personal site anyway. This is no different than being daft enough to leave your application forms on the desk. If you are careless with information then you should not be surprised if things fall into the hands of other people. What is "proper procedure" or "professional" is a matter of your opinion, not law. So it is irrelevant. What we have is someone who left their Facebook setting public; sent emails from their work account despite knowing that it was monitored; and then left LinkedIn logged in when they shouldn't have on a work place computer.

    Really, the wonder here is that people still haven't learned that personal business and workplace computers do not mix. Ever.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I have already explained to you that the material was not on the employers computer, the manager downloaded messages from the linkedin server using the OP's credentials. In technical terms a session was left open on the employers computer, the employer then used this to access material they were not authorised to.

    I have also explained that the criminal offence is a breach of computer misuse act 1990 not "breach of privacy".

    What you are saying is that criminals should not be punished if the victim hasn't taken steps to protect themselves, victim blaming. Obviously an employee shouldn't leave sessions open on an employers computer, but that does not make it ok for the employer to take advantage of that and commit a criminal offence.
    Last edited by Energize; 12-11-2017 at 11:52 PM.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Nov 17, 9:56 AM
    • 905 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #9
    • 13th Nov 17, 9:56 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Nov 17, 9:56 AM
    I have already explained to you that the material was not on the employers computer, the manager downloaded messages from the linkedin server using the OP's credentials. In technical terms a session was left open on the employers computer, the employer then used this to access material they were not authorised to.

    I have also explained that the criminal offence is a breach of computer misuse act 1990 not "breach of privacy".

    What you are saying is that criminals should not be punished if the victim hasn't taken steps to protect themselves, victim blaming. Obviously an employee shouldn't leave sessions open on an employers computer, but that does not make it ok for the employer to take advantage of that and commit a criminal offence.
    Originally posted by Energize

    Absolutely, so under s.6 of the prosecution of offences act, the OP should bring a private prosecution....


    Meanwhile back on earth...
    • laurenphipps85
    • By laurenphipps85 13th Nov 17, 12:02 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    laurenphipps85
    Absolutely, so under s.6 of the prosecution of offences act, the OP should bring a private prosecution....


    Meanwhile back on earth...
    Originally posted by Comms69
    yet another constructive post from comms69
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Nov 17, 12:06 PM
    • 905 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Comms69
    yet another constructive post from comms69
    Originally posted by laurenphipps85


    What was it your mother said?


    If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all? .......


    Anyway, your thread got locked and I'm sure you feel vindicated. Forum Team clearly at it again, deleting perfectly valid posts because they've upset someone.
    • Energize
    • By Energize 13th Nov 17, 12:19 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Energize
    Absolutely, so under s.6 of the prosecution of offences act, the OP should bring a private prosecution....


    Meanwhile back on earth...
    Originally posted by Comms69
    I have to agree with the other poster, this is a really unconstructive reply.

    The OP has asked whether the employer did anything illegal and I have responded with the relevant legislation, what the OP does with that information is up to them. I have not suggested the OP attempt to prosecute their ex-employer, but I do have a respect for privacy, especially as an IT professional who has to deal with these exact scenarios at work.
    Last edited by Energize; 13-11-2017 at 12:22 PM.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Nov 17, 12:23 PM
    • 905 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Comms69
    I have to agree with the other poster, this is a really unconstructive reply.

    The OP has asked whether the employer did anything illegal and I have responded with the relevant legislation, what the OP does with that information is up to them.
    Originally posted by Energize


    It's no more unhelpful than your post citing your interpretation of the law - , which is highly flawed as the information, despite being accessed from a third party server is still downloaded onto the company computer, and where the employee in all likelihood signed the terms of use of company IT equipment, which would allow access.


    The point I was making is that no-one is going to prosecute this, unless the OP him or herself decides to.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 13th Nov 17, 12:47 PM
    • 912 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    phillw
    I mean they can fire me for asking a question about an other career. And even if I was looking for a new job thatís not illegal?

    Sorry for the really long post!
    Originally posted by Pipsqueakaboo
    It's way too long and complicated, you don't do yourself any favours.

    If you've been there less than 24 months then it's very easy for them to get rid of you, if you've been there longer than 24 months then they need to have followed their disciplinary policy.

    You need the employee handbook and the reason why they terminated your employment in writing. Then you need to talk them into paying you off, because they don't want you to work there anymore
    • Energize
    • By Energize 13th Nov 17, 6:17 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Energize
    It's no more unhelpful than your post citing your interpretation of the law - , which is highly flawed as the information, despite being accessed from a third party server is still downloaded onto the company computer, and where the employee in all likelihood signed the terms of use of company IT equipment, which would allow access.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    The employee didn't download the information to the computer though, that is the whole point. The employer downloaded it after the employee had been terminated!
    Last edited by Energize; 13-11-2017 at 6:31 PM.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 13th Nov 17, 6:41 PM
    • 1,616 Posts
    • 3,321 Thanks
    IAmWales
    The information was downloaded by the employer (after the OP had been terminated I might add), this is something they are not authorised to do hence why an offence has been committed.

    As a layperson the technicalities might be hard for you to follow but it is analogous to entering someones house because they left the door open and then taking a look around.
    Originally posted by Energize
    Do tell us about your expertise Energize!

    Your analogy is grossly flawed. It's the equivalent of leaving your handbag in someone's house and the house owner taking a look. Impolite, but not illegal.
    • Energize
    • By Energize 13th Nov 17, 9:03 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Energize
    Well I could tell you that I have a degree in computer science and 8 years industry experience, but you would say that counts for nothing I'm sure. Your analogy is based on a complete lack of understanding of what a session is, and case law on the computer misuse act demonstrates that the analogy I have presented is what judges are going to rule by.

    I think this discussion has highlighted how poor the general publics knowledge of how computers function is!
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Nov 17, 9:14 PM
    • 1,068 Posts
    • 1,174 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I must admit, as one who has a poor knowledge of computers, I found your original analogy a bit strange

    I thought it would have been more like it if you had said that it was the same as gong into the employees house, which was owned by the company, after they had left

    Can you explain why that isn’t so? After all, it is the company’s computer etc etc

    Thank you
    • Energize
    • By Energize 14th Nov 17, 3:22 AM
    • 328 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Energize
    I think the key point that I haven't quite gotten across perhaps and which doesn't easily translate to real life is that this situation here revolves around the concept of a virtual link between the two computers which the OP could be thought of as having left behind.

    In the scenario in this thread we start out with two computers, the employers computer which the OP is using and the linkedin server which is where all the personal messages are stored.

    When the OP sent their login details to the linkedin server a "session" was created between the employers computer and the linkedin server. A session can simply be thought of as a tunnel over which information can be exchanged, thus now allowing the employers computer to download personal data belonging to the OP in the future.

    OP is then terminated by employer.

    What the employer then did by clicking links on the OP's linkin profile page was to send requests to the linkedin server asking for the OP's private messages, the server sent those messages to the employers computer in response.

    So we now have those private messages downloaded onto the employers computer due to an unauthorised request that they made after the employee was dismissed.

    If I use a message analogy instead, it's a bit like me sending letters pretending to be someone else in the hopes of receiving personal information about them back.

    The employer can look through any data on their computer that they like, but they cannot use that data however they like. Here they used session data to obtain unauthorised access to other data, this is the basis of many types of hacks, we just don't call something like this hacking because it's so unsophisticated and opportunistic in nature.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 14th Nov 17, 6:52 AM
    • 1,068 Posts
    • 1,174 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Thanks. That’s clearer.

    To be honest I don’t think your original analogy helped. Now you’ve explained it I can see the point about hitting the LinkedIn server.
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