Up until this week a Florida Attorney would tell you that your employer can probably read your emails and text messages on company provided devices. That may change based on a recent development in an appeals court’s decision. In that case, the court found your boss shouldn’t read your text or e-mail messages.
Text messages were obtained from a wireless carrier and reviewed by an employer without the employee’s permission. The federal appeals court sharply limited the ability of employers to obtain e-mails and text messages sent by employees on company accounts.
A Tampa Internet lawyer observes that Access to e-mail could be barred if the employer contracts out its e-mail service rather than maintaining an internal server to handle it.
One report found that about 28% of Microsoft Outlook users have their e-mail handled by an outside vendor, according to research firm Radicati Group. The ruling also gave government workers Fourth 4th Amendment protection against searches of text and e-mail communications by their bosses.
The privacy case was a unanimous ruling and the first federal appellate decision to provide 4th Amendment protection to electronic messages. Arguably, police may now need to obtain a warrant before they could access someone’s e-mail or text messages.
The court found that the wireless service provider violated the federal Stored Communications Act. That law prohibits providers from providing the contents of any communication that is maintained on the service without a search warrant.
Employees had an expectation of privacy that was protected by the Constitution. Feel free to contact Board Certified Trial Lawyer, W.F. ”Casey” Ebsary Jr. Toll Free at 1-877-793-9290 to discuss how this may affect you.
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