The Supreme Court today issued its decision in City of Ontario, California v. Quon. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the search of Quon’s text messages, sent or received on his department issued pager, was reasonable and did not violate Quon’s Fourth Amendment rights.
As set forth in the opinion, the Court did not resolve the parties disagreement over Quon’s privacy expectations, and instead disposed the case on the narrower grounds of the reasonableness of the search. While the Court chose not to utilize the facts of this case to establish far-reaching premises that define the existence, and extent, of privacy expectations of employees using employer-provided communication devices, the Court did note that
Employer policies concerning communications will of course shape the reasonable expectations of their employees, especially to the extent that such policies are clearly communicated.
Click here for a more in depth analysis of the decision. See our previous posts on Quon, here and here.