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Personal information on work computers: No expectation of privacy

by on
in Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

by Li Jing, Esq., Genova, Burns & Vernoia, Newark

A New Jersey appeals court has held for the first time that an employee has no reasonable expectation that personal information stored on work computers is private—even if the employee has created a separate password to protect the information. Employers have the right to search work computers.

From temp to trusted insider

The defendant in State v. M.A. (402 N.J. Super. 353, App. Div., 2008) was identified by his initials M.A. to protect his privacy because he has AIDS. Certified Data Products (CDP) hired M.A. as a temporary bookkeeper. Joseph Braun, the company owner, was unaware that M.A. had served one year in prison for stealing $221,871 from a former employer and was on probation.

Braun told M.A. that all CDP computers were company property. M.A. soon became a trusted employee, becoming CDP’s permanent full-time bookkeeper with increased job duties that include...(register to read more)

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