SCOTUS to hear text privacy case

I can’t think of any recent cases in which this might have been relevant, but the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case to decide the issue of whether a government employer can read text messages that employees send and receive on company cell phones.

The case centers on whether a police officer in Ontario, Calif., had a right to privacy for the text messages he sent and received on a pager provided by the police department.

The city said Sgt. Jeff Quon used his pager to send hundreds of personal messages to his wife, his girlfriend and another officer. Many of the messages were sexually explicit, the city said. The police department obtained transcripts of the officers’ text messages while investigating officers who had repeatedly exceeded monthly character limits for the devices.

HT: The Wall Street Journal

The lower court ruled that it was unreasonable. Perhaps the bigger issue of local importance is that the lower court held that the wireless provider broke federal laws by turning over the text messages. The Supreme Court did not grant cert to hear the providers appeal.

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