May an employer access an employee's email if it is marked private?

Author: Jessica Sussman

Yes. While many email systems have an option to mark emails private, this is just a signal to the individual receiving the email that the content is private. No email sent through an employer's email system is private because the employer retains ownership of the network. However, if an employer's electronic communications policy states that email messages marked private are kept confidential, an employee may have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.