Tag: Privacy

Dangerous communications

Communications dangers in 2010, a few resolutions for the new year

1) Getting to know someone: Everything from dating to social media sites present dangers to the participants.  Recently we have seen children commit suicide for what was said to them on social media sites and have seen too many episodes of Dateline to know that there are real dangers.

2) Letting someone find out about you: Sure, you thought that only your friends would see that picture of you drunk and get a laugh.  But when the hiring partner of your future firm does not get a laugh of your picture with the lampshade posted world-wide, you will need to re-evaluate what you let others know about your personal life.  Remember that the hiring partner has a personal life too, but they don’t put pictures available worldwide on the Internet….

3) Not guarding your numbers: Keep your SSN, bank numbers and other important numbers away from the bad folks.

Are your text messages private at work?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would decide whether privacy rights covered a worker’s personal text message on employer-owned equipment, hearing a case about a police officer who sent sexually explicit messages from his department-issued pager.

Medialawprofessor comment: This could be a landmark case. While it involves privacy, it also crosses the line into employment law and certainly can help define the developing cyberlaw. The case is: 08-1332 ONTARIO, CA, ET AL. V. QUON, JEFF, ET AL. Cert granted by USSC on 12/14/09.  The usual test for privacy is whether a person has an “expectation” of privacy.  If you are standing on a public street corner, you do not have an expectation of privacy.  If you are inside of your own house, however, you do have an expectation of privacy.  When using employer equipment, ie cellphones, pagers, email, etc. the past cases have usually come down clearly that the employee does not have an expectation of privacy as to his or her employer looking at their emails, etc. that are hosted on company property (email servers).  Could this grant of cert be a signal that the USSC is going to change the majority rule?