U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to rule in case of employer access to workers’ text messages, privacy at issue

* On 10:28 am EST, Monday December 14, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide how much privacy workers have when they send text messages from company accounts.

The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that sided with Ontario, Calif., police officers who complained that the department improperly snooped on their electronic exchanges. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also faulted the text-messaging service for turning over transcripts of the messages without the officers’ consent.

Cities, Ontario, U.S. Supreme Court, Privacy, Test Messages, Legal,Users of text-messaging services “have a reasonable expectation of privacy” regarding messages stored on the service provider’s network, 9th Circuit Judge Kim Wardlaw said. Both the city and USA Mobility Wireless, Inc., which bought the text-messaging service involved in the case, appealed the 9th Circuit ruling.

The justices turned down the company’s appeal, but said they would hear arguments in the spring in the city’s case.

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