Supreme Court Allows Employer to Spy on Texts; What Next?

In a ruling made on June 17, the Supreme Court protected the constitutionality of a California police chief's reading an officer's text messages sent on a work-issued device. The Ontario, Calif., police chief's reading of the sexually explicit texts sent by the employee to his wife and a girlfriend was initially seen as a violation of the 4th Amendment ban on unreasonable government searches.

However, as the non-work related texts were sent from a police department-issued messaging device, the Supreme Court considered the police chief's actions a legal and reasonable search based on a suspicion of "work-related misconduct." This is the first ruling that the Supreme Court has made regarding messages employees send via technology while on the job.

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