Company phone text message privacy - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Company phone text message privacy

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Most companies have a "for work use only" policy in place when it comes to work issued cell phones. But if you're guilty of using your company phone to send personal text messages, they're not as private as you might think.

"Anytime you use a computer or a cell phone that belongs to someone else, to your company, your employer, you need to understand that that company, that employer very well may have the right to read what you've been sending or what you've been receiving," said NBC 12 legal analyst, Steve Benjamin.

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether the right to privacy includes sending text messages from company cell phones. This comes after a California city appealed a Federal Appeals Court ruling that found a company improperly snooped into their employees messages.

"The discussion we're likely to see here is whether stored electronic data from equipment that is owned by an employer is something in which an employee can have a reasonable expectation to privacy," said Benjamin.

Whether for work or personal use, people we spoke with believe the company has the right to know what you send on your work phone.

"I feel the employer has 100 percent access to anything that goes on on that device," said one Richmond resident about their employer issued cell phone.

"You have your own personal cell phone for that," said another Richmond resident. "You should keep your personal life and your business life in two separate categories."

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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