Texting and Employee Privacy

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal on a case involving text messaging privacy.  Whether or not employees have a right to privacy when texting on employer-owned devices is an issue of keen interest to many employers and employees alike.  But this case may not have a sweeping application as the matter pertains to a city and its employee rather than the private sector.  Simply, the case involves privacy under the fourth amendment protections, which differ between private and government employees.  In his Technology and Marketing Law blog, Eric Goldman offers a good round-up of what the law firms are saying about the case as well as some insights as to why the Supreme Court has agreed to consider the case.  While speculations may persist until the Supreme Court renders its decision, the consensus on operating procedures suggests employers should maintain an electronic communications policy (and follow it) and  employees should avoid private communications on company time or equipment.