As of May 25, 2011 European countries are required to implement the new e-Privacy Directive (2009/136/EC).

Essentially, the EU Directive is for the privacy and protection of all personal data collected for or about employees and citizens of the EU. The data controller must obtain consent for such data collection and give notice of such collection to the subject. The data collected should be used for the stated purpose and no other, and not disclosed to third parties without specific content. Subjects may hold collectors accountable for not adhering to the directives.

The primary objective of this Directive was to prevent the use of third-party cookies being used to track a user’s web activity and build a profile of activity across multiple sites without their consent.

Please note that the PoliteMail email tracking system does not make use of cookies.

Internal communications users (employers) may comply with these rules within their employment and labour agreements and within the context of privacy and/or technology use policies that explains the reasons for the collection and use of such data. The company should be clear about the reasons for such email data monitoring, and the extent to which is it is necessary to achieve a legitimate aim.

External and marketing communications users may comply with these rules within their privacy policy and terms of use documents, that explains what data is collected and the extent to which it is used to achieve a legitimate aim.

The PoliteMail system collects additional data to personal data already collected through the general use of your Outlook/Exchange email system, which include name, email address and any messages sent or received. The PoliteMail email analytics tool also tracks opens (message content downloads), link clicks (click through to specific URLs contained within the email message) replies and forwards (but not who the forward was sent to).  This data enables communicators to measure the effectiveness of their email communications and the ability to monitor if the resources being developed and deployed to support the organisation (sent via links or file attachments) are in fact being utilised by the recipients. The tool also enables communicators to take follow-up action with specific recipients or groups of recipients based upon their interactions (or lack thereof).

Related Resources:

http://www.mofo.com/news/updates/bulletins/bulletin1184.html#Overview

http://www.mofo.com/files//Uploads/Images/MonitoringEmployees.pdf

http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/analysis/2144279/analysis-protection-eu/page/2?WT.rss_a=analysis%3A+data+protection+%E2%80%93+is+the+eu+going+too+far%3F+&WT.rss_f=