e-Discovery California: The Friday Brush-Off

J0403056 Forgive me for my limited time this week.  As we harken back to "Privacy Week", comes word that the Supreme Court is going to rule in the spring – for the 1st time – on texting and privacy, specifically the City of Ontario, California's appeal arising out of the 9th Circuit case, Quon v. Arch Wireless, 529 F.3d 892 (9th Cir. 2008) [Warning: Link opens 24-page PDF].

My colleague, Ralph Losey, has done a superb treatise on this subject, so I'm going to port you over if you'd like additional information.  I'm particularly fascinated by the 4th Amendment issues raised in this case (there I go again…criminal & Constitutional aspects…), plus, as a technology consultant, I've had a hand in crafting corporate policies regarding electronic communications many times in the past.

My opinion?  I'm staying with my usual view.  Texting someone using your corporate device is similar to having a conversation on the telephone from your office cube – where anyone around might hear you.  I'm not saying the content of the text (or phone conversation) isn't technically private, but by transmitting it by way of someone else's device, you're basically creating a waiver (in my mind, anyway).

What if an employee transmits child porn through their corporate device?  Is that private?  Does that not ensnare the company?  Is the company culpable for allowing child porn to be transmitted?  How would the company know unless it's allowed to monitor & review transmissions?  Just a few simple questions for you to ponder…this is your chance to emulate a Supreme Court justice.

More 'stuff' is on the way from me…as soon as I can ration the time to post it!