Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ninth Circuit: No Right to Privacy to Computer at Work

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee in a workplace which has stated that they monitor employee's computer use have no expectation of privacy for their computer.

In a criminal investigation, police gained access to the computer through the employer, without a search warrant. The defendant argued the evidence should not be admissible.
The court agreed with the prosecution, ruling there is not expectation of privacy when the employees have been told that they should not use computers for personal use and that usage was monitored.

The court also cited "social norms."

"Social norms suggest that employees are not entitled to privacy in the use of workplace computers, which belong to their employers and pose significant dangers in terms of diminished productivity and even employer liability," said Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain.


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