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Supreme Court Ponders Quon Case

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

April 20, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday began its review of a lower court's ruling on the privacy of employee text messages transmitted on employer-issued equipment, the Associated Press reports. In the closely watched case, City of Ontario v. Quon, municipal officials want overturned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that they violated a police officer's privacy by reviewing his text messages without his knowledge or consent. In a Littler Mendelson blog post, human resources privacy attorney Philip L. Gordon drills down on the justices' questions and suggests the court's "ultimate ruling could be far narrower than anticipated by many." Gordon also notes the U.S. Government has "asked the court to adopt a bright-line rule that employers can defeat the reasonableness of any employee's expectation of privacy" through policies stating otherwise. (Registration may be required to access this story.)

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