The U.S. Supreme Court is planning to hear a case that will determine if an employer may view those text messages you post from your mobile.
The ruling could have huge implications for workers and the use of applications in the enterprise.
The case stems from a decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that ruled the city of Ontario, California did not have the right to view text messages between city police officers.
Privacy in the workplace is always a touchy subject. In this case, Judge Kim Wardlaw said the police officers have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Corporations pretty much have access to your email. Companies argue that liability falls on its shoulders when it comes to employee communications. It is the business that is required to archive emails and fall in line with regulatory requirements. But employees don’t want to feel like they are working in some kind of corporate police state.
What are the implications of a Supreme Court ruling such as this? We are seeing a rush of enterprise applications that will fuel communications in the enterprise to a fiery roar. Application that use real-time streams may actually help matters as the dialogue is pretty much transparent. But when it comes to hosted applications, the issues are at best murky, and at worst a minefield of problems.
According to news reports a decision is expected by next June.