Supreme Court: No Privacy on State Phones, Computers, Email

Jonathan Bean

Those who work in the private sector have long known (right?) that your privacy ends at the steps of the workplace. Plan accordingly.

The issue of whether this principle applied to the public sector arose in the case of Ontario v. Quon. The answer: Your public college administrators can read your email, texts, and see who you have called. Melancton Smith has a good blog on the case over at Beacon.

It amazes me how few people realize this basic fact. On a college campus, the IT personnel have to be busy sniffing out the bandwidth hogs who are torrenting illegal movies, spreading malware, etc. They are good at monitoring the system -- probably better than most employers.

For more on the limits of campus privacy, see my two-part Big Brother and U, Part I: Is Your University Reading your Email?

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