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Reading Your Employees' Text Messages May Get You Into Hot Water

September 2008

Privacy Tracker, Vol. 1, No. 6

Do employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the content of text messages they send using equipment and service provided by their employer? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held so in Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Co., Inc.

While the appellate court’s decision in Quon most directly affects public employers because the court conducted its privately analysis under the Fourth Amendment, which does not apply to private entities, the case nevertheless is relevant to private employers for two reasons.

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