Worker Says Her Privacy Was 'Violated' After Her Manager Read Her Private Messages On Her Laptop & Forwarded It To Her Other Colleagues

She allowed her manager to use her laptop, but was shocked when she found out her personal messages were read.

Ocean @oocean.e tiktok @oocean.e / TikTok

A woman revealed that her manager acted out of character and breached their trust after letting her use her laptop.

In a TikTok video, TikTok user, Ocean, detailed an incident that happened a few months ago after she allowed her manager to use her personal laptop to get work done. Unbeknownst to Ocean, her manager did more on her personal laptop than just work.

Her manager read her private messages and forwarded them to their other work colleagues.

"Five months ago my manager's laptop broke and I lent her mine. Come to find out that she read my messages with my boss and sent them to other staff," Ocean began in her video. She explained that her friend, who also works at the same company, told her about their manager going through her personal messages.




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Once Ocean found out what her manager had done, she immediately contacted her boss and the two of them drafted up a message to send to Ocean's manager, confronting her about the breach of trust and respect that had happened by going through her private messages.


"I [lent] you my laptop and you decided to go through my private messages and send them to other people [and a] massive invasion of my trust and privacy," Ocean's message to her boss read. "The past is the past and we are in different places now, but was super disappointed to hear this."

Ocean continued, telling her manager that it was imperative she just take "responsibility" for her actions instead of blaming their other colleagues for telling Ocean about the breach of privacy. In the second part of her story, Ocean responded to comments asking what had happened next.



Ocean assured viewers that after sending her manager that lengthy text, she did end up receiving an apology, and the entire mess was handled internally. "She replied in a half hour with a full apology and I forgave her, that's it."


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Ocean's debacle with her manager proves that trust is an important component of a healthy work environment.

Just as employees are entitled to their personal space physically, they should also have their personal space online. Private messages that consist of equally private matters, sensitive topics, and discussions unrelated to work shouldn't be grounds for a manager to feel the need to read them. 

There is no amount of "we are a family" that would justify a manager breaching their employee's trust and reading personal messages. If a manager has legitimate concerns about an employee's conduct or anything work-related, there are more appropriate and better ways to address them instead of going through their personal items.

Open communication, performance evaluations, and one-on-one meetings are just some of the much better avenues that can be used to address any concerns between a manager and an employee.


Respecting privacy is one of the many crucial aspects of fostering a positive work environment. If a manager chooses to violate that, it will only create unease between them and their employees, and could even lead to those employees feeling that they can't talk to their managers or feel worried that they might abuse their managerial power once more.

Going through an employee's personal messages is wrong, no matter which way you look at it. Respecting privacy isn't just a matter of courtesy; it's an integral part of creating an environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and respected.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.