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Are ALL of your e-mails being reviewed by your boss?

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:10 pm
by brian
A question of e-mail confidentiality Seems your employment contract may allow your employer to read 'anything' on your company provided computer, including 'personal e-mails'. The case stems from a company being sued by an employee who used their computer policy that stated they had a right to look at 'all matters on the company's media systems' which they interpreted as their ability to review personal e-mails between that employee and her lawyer in the suit.
MORAL: Be safe, not sorry. Open up a separate personal e-mail account (google, hotmail, etc.) and DO NOT save any local copies of the emails to your company computer. Heck, get yourself a 'netbook computer' for < $300 and use that for ALL personal emails.

Re: Are ALL of your e-mails being reviewed by your boss?

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:02 am
by MSI
Supreme Court Takes Texting Case
Dec 15, 2009: New York Times, Adam Liptak
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether a police department violated the constitutional privacy rights of an employee when it inspected personal text messages sent and received on a government pager. The case opens “a new frontier in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” according to a three-judge panel of an appeals court that ruled in favor of the employee, a police sergeant on the Ontario, Calif., SWAT team.
See the Full Article

Re: Are ALL of your e-mails being reviewed by your boss?

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:05 pm
by PaulM

Re: Are ALL of your e-mails being reviewed by your boss?

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:06 am
by MSI
Mar 31, 2010: in a followup to our initial thread on the case the New Jersey Supreme Court say's NO! A company should not read personal emails accessed at work! In the subject case a former employee wrote to her lawyer from a private, password-protected web account, even though she sent them from her employer's computer, the company was wrong to have experts scan the computer and extract the private emails.
From the ruling: This case presents novel questions about the extent to which an employee can expect privacy and confidentiality in e-mails with her attorney, which she sent and received through her personal, password-protected, web-based e-mail account using an employer-issued computer.
See the complete ruling Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. (A-16-09) from the Supreme Court of New Jersey site.
See an article on the case from Nj.com N.J. Supreme Court upholds privacy of personal e-mails accessed at work

Re: Are ALL of your e-mails being reviewed by your boss?

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:49 pm
by brian
April 20, 2010: From law.com High Court Justices Consider Privacy Issues in Text Messaging Case. The U.S. Supreme Court today pondered the privacy expectations of public employees in a case involving workplace monitoring of text messages. In the case City of Ontario, Calif. v. Quon, which is one of two cases leading off the final round of oral arguments this term, the Court's wades into the water of workplace monitoring of electronic and digital communications.
The city is asking the justices to overturn a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, holding that it violated the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of Quon, a member of the Ontario police department's SWAT team, when it reviewed transcripts of his and another officer's text messages on their department pagers. The city contends it reviewed the messages to determine whether it needed to increase the character allotment for all pagers.
Questions in the case have to do with reasonable expectations and whether off-duty messages, and/or messages paid for by employees but still on a company pager (or computer or phone) are protected from search and seisure?
Kind of flies in the face of a recent ruling that 'if you open an email message on Google or some other online service, that message is now being stored and therefore subject to search and siezure.
See the full article High Court Justices Consider Privacy Issues in Text Messaging Case

Re: Are ALL of your e-mails being reviewed by your boss?

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:55 pm
by brian
June 17, 2010: Ruling in Ontario v Quon reached as Supreme Court court rules in text-messaging, property rights cases
  • The Supreme Court ruled that the police department's search of an officer's sexually explicit text messages did not violate his constitutional rights. The court steered clear of making a broad pronouncement on workers' expectations of privacy when using electronic devices supplied by their employers.
See the [/url=http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1332.pdf]Supreme Court Ruling[/url]

Re: Are ALL of your e-mails being reviewed by your boss?

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:31 am
by brian
Jun 18, 2010: Adam Liptak had this to say on the subject Justices Allow Search of Work-Issued Pager
"The decision puts government employees on notice that electronic communications on devices provided to them may not be subject to the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches, as long as their employers have “a legitimate work-related purpose” for inspecting the communications".