Privacy Laws City of Ontario, California, Et Al. V Quon, Et Al. 560 U.S. (2010)

1888 Words May 23rd, 2012 8 Pages
THE APPLICATION OF PRIVACY LAWS

TOPIC READING:

City of Ontario, California, et al. v Quon, et al. 560 U.S.___(2010)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1. What were the material facts of City of Ontario, California, et al. v Quon, et al. (Ontario v Quon)?

 Petitioner Ontario (hereinafter City) acquired alphanumeric pagers able to send and receive text messages. Its contract with its service provider, Arch Wireless, provided for a monthly limit on the number of characters each pager could send or receive, and specified that usage exceeding that number would result in an additional fee.
 The City issued the pagers to respondent Quon and other officers in its police department (OPD), also a petitioner here.
 When Quon and others
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The Supreme Court took on the O’Connor plurality 3 prong test discussed in Q 10 6. What was the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Ontario v Quon?

Held: Because the search of Quon’s text messages was reasonable based on a search for work-related purposes, petitioners did not violate respondents’ Fourth Amendment rights, and the Ninth Circuit erred by concluding otherwise. 7. Justice Kennedy notes several times the difficulties faced by the courts in developing principles in relation to privacy in the workplace. What were his particular concerns with employer-provided communication devices in light of privacy expectations?

Kennedy was concerned with the rapid changes in the dynamics of communication and information transmission as evident not just in the technology itself but in what society accepts as proper behavior. Many employers expect or at least tolerate personal use of such equipment by employees because it often increases worker efficiency. At present, it is uncertain how workplace norms, and the law's treatment of them, will evolve.

For instance, he noted that the ready availability of cell phones made them potentially "necessary instruments for self-expression, even self-identification", strengthening a privacy claim. But at the same time they were affordable enough that anyone wanting one for such a purpose could buy their own rather than use one provided by an
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