Argument transcript released in Ontario v. Quon U.S. Supreme Court case

A 70-page transcript of Monday’s argument in the U.S. Supreme Court case involving Ontario Police Department has been posted to the court’s website.

Click here for background on the case.

Court takes up Ontario employees’ privacy case
By MARK SHERMAN (AP)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appears likely to rule against public employees who claimed a local government violated their privacy by reading racy text messages they sent on their employers’ account.

Several justices said today that the employer, the Ontario, California., police department, acted reasonably in monitoring the text messages in view of its written policy warning employees they have no guarantee of privacy in the use of office computer and electronics equipment.

Justice Stephen Gerald Breyer said he didn’t see “anything, quite honestly, unreasonable about that.”

While the case involves government workers, the decision could have broader privacy implications as courts continue to sort out privacy issues in the digital age. Many employers, including Ontario, tell workers there is no guarantee of privacy in anything sent over their company- or government-provided computers, cell phones or pagers.

The case arose when the Ontario department decided to audit text message usage to see whether its SWAT team officers were using them too often for personal reasons. Three police officers and another employee complained that the department improperly snooped on their electronic exchanges, including many that were said to be sexually explicit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: