Court will rule on privacy of text messages sent on employer-owned devices

Tuesday Dec 15th 2009 by Staff

The Supreme Court said today it would rule for the first time on whether employees have a right to privacy when they send text messages on electronic devices supplied by their employers.

Los Angeles Times: The justices agreed to hear an appeal from a police department in Ontario, Calif., that was successfully sued by Sgt. Jeff Quon and three other officers after their text messages -- some of which were sexually explicit -- were read by the police chief. Last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals broke new ground by ruling that the police officers had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their text messages. A Supreme Court ruling on the issue, due by June, could set new rules for the workplace at a time when most employees use computers, cellphones or texting devices as part of their job. The 9th Circuit's opinion was the first from a federal appeals court to hold that the Constitution protected the privacy rights of workers who were using electronic devices supplied by their employer.
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