Paper #1 Good evening. I think is a very good question. What is a considered a reasonable expectation of privacy? My employer issue padlocks to employees and assigned departmental lockers to each employee upon the day that they are hired. Whe working in union environment, the contention with the labor union then become a question of, “What happens if an employee is accused of theft and management requests to search the employee locker? Does management have the right to search the locker without the employees consent, without a warrant and without an emergency/require circumstance just because the employer owns the locker and the padlock? I would say that same would apply to that of the records, transcripts and text messages, unless the there is a warrant that is search specific to what is being investigated. My understanding is that private messages, photos and email that are private in nature, and even criminal potential activity non specific to the search warrants subject and target investigation is not open to be seized or searched. Such conduct or activity would constitute a fourth amendment violation in my opinion. Interestingly enough, it is my experience that there are aspects of public records that are required to be redacted prior to being submitted for a public records request and/ search warrant.
“The searches and seizure must be The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable “searches” and “seizures” (Bellin, 2019.” This places the Supreme Court’s definition of the term “search” at the center of the always-evolving balance between privacy and security” (Bellin, 2019). “Technological advances offer the government a steady stream of novel investigative techniques, but only those that qualify as “searches” (or “seizures”1 ) trigger Fourth Amendment protections (Bellin, 2019). The Fourth Amendment grants the American people the right to remain free from unreasonable governmental searches” (Mund, 2018). “As interpreted by the Supreme Court, “A ‘search’ occurs when an expectation of privacy that society is prepared to consider reasonable is infringed (Mund, 2018)”
Bellin, J. (2019, November). Fourth Amendment Textualism. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2994&context=facpubs
Mund, B. (2018). Social Media Searches and Reasonable Expectation of Privacy. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1129&context=yjolt
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For this discussion, we will look at the expectation of privacy for the government’s cell phones and devices. When you think of expectation privacy the first thing that comes to mind is your home and automobile. The fourth amendment protects one from illegal search and seizures and ensures them the right to be secured in one’s person and home (Worrall and Moore,2014). However, the expectation of privacy for government devices is quite slim. Generally, if an employer has reason to believe employee misconduct has occurred, then the right to search an employee’s work area and or work devices is granted. Worrall and Moore (2014) states that the term reasonableness refers to a certain level of suspicion regarding the workplace. According to FIndlaw (2019) employers have the right to search an employee’s locker, office, desk, and computers. The reason for this is the area of question all belong to the employer including the computer and cables needed to operate the computer. As a state employee, the expectation of privacy is even vague. Each year Department of Corrections employees are required to complete what is called “Open Records” training. The open record training advises employees of the state of Tennessee facilities that any type of email feels from a work computer and or calls or text messages feel from a state issue phone are subject to be searched in the event of employee misconduct. For example, as a supervisor within the department, any message feels referring to an issue within the department can be used as evidence if presented in the future. The expectation of privacy does not apply when using state or government-issued devices. My rule for state devices is, do not share any information that should not be public knowledge. This applies while at work or at home as long as a state issued device is being used.
Findlaw (2019) employment.findlaw.com/workplace-privacy/privacy-at-work-what-are-your-rights.html
Worrall, J. L., Moore, J. L. (2014). Criminal law and procedure. Pearson.