Using a Company Cell? Watch What You Text
You may recall the case in which a cop from Ontario, CA. had sent explicit sexual related text messages on a cell phone issued by the department. When the copper went over his allocated minutes, his boss check his text messages to see if they were work related. Seems that this department employee thought his text should be private, even if the phone belonged to the city. So he sued the city for violating his right against unlawful search and seizure.
So off the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court which decided the following:
The Supreme Court has ruled that employers may monitor employee conversations made via an employer-issued cell phone if there is a “legitimate work-related purpose” to do so.
In a ruling handed down Thursday, the court ruled unanimously that a police department in California did not violate privacy rights by monitoring text messages of an employee sent on a department-issued device.
“Reviewing the transcripts was reasonable because it was an efficient and expedient way to determine whether Quon’s overages were the result of work-related messaging or personal use,” the Court’s opinion stated.
Officers at the police department were told that a certain amount of personal use on the devices was allowed, but that they should not expect total privacy because messages were all subject to auditing.
The ruling reversed ones in Quon’s favor by a district judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. It also sets a precedent for allowing employers to monitor cell-phone of employees if they feel they have just cause.
Still, the Court made it clear in its decision that it would make future decisions on a case-by-case basis and would exercise caution before giving employers blanket license to review such messages in the future.
The real humor in this case is that this guy was stupied enough to not only send explicit sexual content to his wife, but also to his mistress! LOL If this guy had an ounce of sense he should of known that all hell would break lose when the PD checked his calls and text messages.