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Unformatted text preview: thal v. Knapek, 266 F.3d 64, 74 (2d
To warrant Fourth Amendment protection, an expectation of privacy must "be one that
society is prepared to recognize as 'reasonable.' " Katz, 389 U.S. at 361, 88 S.Ct. 507
(Harlan, J., concurring). Accordingly, we note that at least one court has examined the
reasonableness of an expectation of privacy in a workplace computer from the standpoint
of "community norms." In TBG Ins. Services Corp. v. Superior Court, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d
155, 96 Cal.App.4th 443 (Cal.Ct.App.2002), the California Court of Appeal stated:
We are concerned in this case with the "community norm" within 21st Century computerdependent businesses. In 2001, the 700,000 member American Management Association
(AMA) reported that more than three-quarters of this country's major firms monitor,
record, and review employee communications and activities on the job, including their
telephone calls, e-mails, Internet connections, and computer files. Companies that engage
in these practices do so for several reasons, including legal compliance (in regulated
industries, such as telemarketing, to show compliance, and in other industries to satisfy
"due diligence" requirements), legal liability (because employees unwittingly exposed to
offensive material on a colleague's computer may sue the employer for allowing a hostile
workplace environment), performance review, productivity measures, and security
concerns (protection of trade secrets and other confidential information).
... For these reasons, the use of computers in the employment context carries with it
social norms that effectively diminish the employee's reasonable expectation of privacy
with regard to his use of his employer's computers.
Id. at 161-62, 96 Cal.App.4th at 451-52, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 155. The court, like the others
cited above, held that workplace policies, including the employer's entitlement to monitor
usage on an "as needed" basis, defeated a claim to a reasonable expectation of privacy in
the computer. Id. at 163- 64, 96 Cal.App.4th at 452-54, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 155.
Surely, some lament the general lack of privacy in the modern workplace. See, e.g.,
Matthew W. Finkin, Employee Pr...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08