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HL Chronicle of Data Protection Privacy & Information Security News & Trends

Tag Archives: reasonable expectation

Posted in Consumer Privacy

Supreme Court Decision in Warrantless GPS Tracking Case Offers Little Guidance in Consumer Privacy Context

Sometimes Fourth Amendment cases (which by definition arise in a governmental context) have implications for consumer privacy law since the “reasonable expectation of privacy” analysis can be employed in both areas. Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court 9-0 ruling in United States v. Jones that the warrantless attachment of a GPS device to a car for monitoring purposes violated the Fourth Amendment offers little guidance in the consumer privacy context because the opinion for the Court did not rely on an “expectation of privacy” analysis.

Posted in Employment Privacy

Supreme Court Finds Public Employer’s Search Motivated By Legitimate Work-Related Purposes Did Not Violate Fourth Amendment Protections Against Unreasonable Searches

Yesterday, the Supreme Court reversed a decision of the Ninth Circuit in City of Ontario v. Quon and unanimously decided in favor of a public employer that had engaged in a limited administrative/accounting review of employee text messages. In this blog entry, we explain how the Court avoided deciding what is a reasonable expectation of privacy in electronic devices; we observe how a dormant federal case allowing a private employer search of e-mail despite an expectation of privacy may have renewed vitality; but in light of a recent New Jersey Supreme Court case, we remind private employers of the importance of a clear electronic communications policy (to limit or defeat expectations of privacy), of training and of purpose-limited searches.