Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

  1. #1
    Slayer of the DP Newsbot
    danarhea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Last Seen
    Today @ 01:02 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    39,751

    Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled Monday to hear the case of an Ontario, California, police officer who used his city-issued text-messaging pager to exchange hundreds of personal messages -- some sexually explicit. The case carries ramifications for employee privacy rights in the workplace.
    You know, I have always been quite an advocate against government spying on people, but he was texting his messages on a phone that the government, HIS EMPLOYER, provided. I think his right to privacy ended with that. Now, if it was his own phone, it would be a different story, but don't you think that, if his employer is paying for the phone, then they have a right to monitor what he does with it? After all, it's not his property. It's his employer's property. This is how I think SCOTUS will rule.

    Discussion?

    Article is here.
    The ghost of Jack Kevorkian for President's Physician: 2016

  2. #2
    Student Yossarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Last Seen
    02-28-12 @ 05:22 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    258

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    If the court rules against this guy then there could easily be ramifications for the common law. Though this of course depends on the judges' construction of their reasoning, it seems possible that a broad ratio, or precedent, may leave the door open for a diminution of the common law right to privacy.

    In regards to the fact that it was a city-issued phone, I'm not sure how relevant that would be considering that it was still in his possession (even if not under his ownership) when he was making those texts. If I took revealing photos on my friend's camera, would it be within reason to suggest that I still had a right to privacy vis a vis those photos? These are the sort of scenarios that a ruling against the plaintiff could throw up.

  3. #3
    Sage
    Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    US
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 09:57 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    6,170

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    You know, I have always been quite an advocate against government spying on people, but he was texting his messages on a phone that the government, HIS EMPLOYER, provided. I think his right to privacy ended with that. Now, if it was his own phone, it would be a different story, but don't you think that, if his employer is paying for the phone, then they have a right to monitor what he does with it?
    Not based on your argument. If I use a government pencil, do they have a "right to monitor" everything that I write with it?

    Would a more appropriate action been to simply confiscate the phone and be done with it?

  4. #4
    Student Yossarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Last Seen
    02-28-12 @ 05:22 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    258

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Not based on your argument. If I use a government pencil, do they have a "right to monitor" everything that I write with it?
    Maybe a hyperbole, but still, this is the gist of the problem.

  5. #5
    Goddess of Bacon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Last Seen
    05-28-12 @ 09:35 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    13,988

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Having worked for the government a bit, I can assure you that he was notified that everything he did on work equipment (which included that phone) was monitored. Many people choose to ignore that notification, though, and assume that they're not REALLY reading everything you type.

  6. #6
    Sage
    misterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Seen
    02-09-12 @ 08:41 AM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    12,913

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    You know, I have always been quite an advocate against government spying on people, but he was texting his messages on a phone that the government, HIS EMPLOYER, provided. I think his right to privacy ended with that. Now, if it was his own phone, it would be a different story, but don't you think that, if his employer is paying for the phone, then they have a right to monitor what he does with it? After all, it's not his property. It's his employer's property. This is how I think SCOTUS will rule.

    Discussion?

    Article is here.
    Hard to say.

    The employer might have the right to demand that he not use it this way, but to actually read the texts? (Unless, as rivrrat pointed out, he was notified that he would be monitored).

  7. #7
    Sage
    Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    US
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 09:57 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    6,170

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    What's more disturbing here? That an employer took a peek at private emails, or that cell phone companies have saved transcripts of every text message you write?

  8. #8
    Goddess of Bacon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Last Seen
    05-28-12 @ 09:35 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    13,988

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    What's more disturbing here? That an employer took a peek at private emails, or that cell phone companies have saved transcripts of every text message you write?
    Not every place does, nor does every plan. It depends on your phone, the service provider, your data plan, etc. You can ask your service provider and they'll tell you if they keep your texts on a server somewhere.

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Last Seen
    06-23-10 @ 11:33 AM
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    2,320

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    As I understand it, the right to privacy is predicated on the expectation of privacy. When the company gave him the phone to use, were they explicit in the parameters of it's use or that the records could be reviewed? This will decide whether or not he had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

  10. #10
    Sage
    misterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Seen
    02-09-12 @ 08:41 AM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    12,913

    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    The chief justice appeared sympathetic to the police officer in the case, Sgt. Jeff Quon of the Ontario Police Department’s SWAT team, who had received mixed guidance from his superiors about the status of messages sent on his pager. The messages included communications to and from his wife and his mistress.

    The department’s written policy allowed “light personal communications” but cautioned employees that they “should have no expectation of privacy.” Under an informal policy adopted by a police lieutenant, however, those who paid for messages over a monthly maximum would not have their records inspected.

    Chief Justice Roberts said the combination of the two policies might be enough to give Sergeant Quon a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment. “I think if I pay for it,” the chief justice said, “it’s mine and not the employer’s.”

    Neal K. Katyal, a deputy solicitor general, disagreed, saying that a low-level employee had no power to change a general policy. “The computer help desk cannot supplant the chief’s desk,” Mr. Katyal said.
    Justices Get Personal Over Privacy of Messages - NYTimes.com

    Looks like this, and the fact that this is a 4th amendment claim because the government is the employer, is why this went all the way to the Supreme Court.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •