Privacy rights strained in the social media world

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could have an impact on an employer’s right to monitor their employees use of social media technology, such as text messaging. In the case of Ontario v. Quon, the Police Department of Ontario, CA distributed an official policy stating they had the right to monitor messages sent on Department-issued pagers and, in one audit, found sexually explicit and personal messages. But the writer of the messages claimed a supervisory police lieutenant determined that officer’s messages would not be reviewed. The plaintiff sued the city for violation of privacy rights.

If you have issued company cell phones, Blackberrys, or other mobile devices, do you have a policy? If you do, does your practice match the policy? Although this is a public sector case, it could have implications for the private sector and there’s no reason for your company to be the lab rat.

If you don’t have a policy and need a place to start, check out ACCR’s Sample Telecommunications Policy by clicking here.

Learn more about the case discussed here by reading “Social Media Update: United States Supreme Court to Rule on Novel ‘Sexting’ Privacy Case” by our partners at Cozen O’Connor LLP by clicking here.


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