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Supreme Court to decide whether text messages are private

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  1. Libel and Privacy
The Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear a case about whether employee text messages sent on employer-issued phones are…

The Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear a case about whether employee text messages sent on employer-issued phones are private.

The case began when a police chief in Ontario, California, read sexually explicit text messages sent between officers. Though the city claims it told employees, including police officers, their electronic communications could be reviewed, four officers sued the police department, claiming the review violated their privacy rights.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (9th Cir.) found that “the officers had been led to believe by a supervisor that the devices were also for personal use.” It also found that the company Arch Wireless Co. violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by turning over transcripts of the messages.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case this spring.