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Supreme Court hears arguments: Are employees’ personal text messages private?

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in HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 19 heard oral arguments in a case that could settle the contentious issue of whether employers have a right to read personal text messages employees send using employer-provided equipment and bandwidth.

At issue: an employer's right to control use of its own equipment and an employee's reasonable expectation of privacy.

It’s generally accepted that employers have the right to monitor any communication that occurs over their Internet and phone lines. But this marks the first time the Supreme Court has addressed the issue in the wireless and Internet age, and some observers say a decision in employees’ favor could alter the legal landscape.

The case, City of Ontario v. Quon, involves police officers who used city-issued pagers to send personal messages to one another — some of them quite racy. When officials in the Southern California police department wanted to find out how much texting conc...(register to read more)

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