The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on June 17 that a police department’s search of an officer’s personal text messages sent via a department-issued pager didn’t violate his constitutional rights.
But employers hoping for definitive guidance on whether they have an absolute right to control how employees use company-provided digital equipment were disappointed. The High Court went out of its way to avoid ruling on employees’ expectations of privacy when using devices supplied by their employers.
One thing that's clear: Employers must set and enforce clear policies on how employees can use employer-provided digital equipment. (See below for specific policy considerations.)
The decision in City of Ontario v. Quon answered only one of two questions before the court:
- Is it reasonable for an employer — a government agency in this case — to search messages sent using its own equipment in order to find out if an employee has ...(register to read more)