I guess your immediate reaction to that question is “no”. But what if your mobile phone is supplied by your boss? Where are the boundaries then? Should your employer be able to access your personal communications if they’re the ones footing the bill for it?
The US Supreme Court will be looking at this very issue. For the first time it will rule on whether employees have a right to privacy when they send text messages on phones and pagers supplied by their employers. The case involves public employees but reports say the ruling could have a spill-on effect to the private workplace.
It all started in California, where a police officer had his text messages — many of them sexually explicit — read by the police chief. Read more about the story here.
It’s an issue that’s surfaced before about the rights of people using their work email accounts to send personal emails.
Toni comments on this website: “If you are using a company bought/paid for cell phone, then I see no expectation of privacy”
An anonymous poster writes on the Computerworld site: “There is no PRIVACY. Get over it. Already. Like, what? It’s 2010 already?”
Do Toni and anonymous have a point?
Do you — like millions of people around the world — have a work-issued phone? What expectations of privacy do you have with your texts? Where do draw the line? And what about those of you who are employers? If you’re the one issuing the phones and paying the charges, do you have the right to access messages? – especially if you want to check an usually high phone bill.