According to a media report, a Swiss woman was fined £1,150 after being convicted of reading her husband emails without his permission.
Apparently, under article 145 of the Swiss criminal code, anyone reading password protected data without the account holder’s permission, it is punishable by a fine or three years in prison.
The media article suggest that the woman found a new account on a shared computer the couple used and they had several passwords that were written down next to the laptop. She used one of the passwords to access her husband information and discover he was having several affairs.
When she confronted him, he moved out of the family home and then filed criminal charges against his wife. The charges against his spouse were, brought in February of last year. On conviction, she was fined £7,500, suspended on, the condition she would commit no further offences for two years. She was also found £3,250 to cover police cost.
However, on appeal the £7,500 fine was reduced to £1,150, it was, stated that she only exploited her husband carelessness and used minimal efforts to gain access to the information.
I understand the legality of the Swiss article 145 and find myself agreeing with the law. If an individual password protects their information they are saying unless I give my consent, that information is private and should remain so. Only in extreme circumstances where authority believe that lives are at stake, or the password protected data could prevent a member of the public from being harm, no one has the right to infringe on someone privacy.