Can a department monitor its officers’ use of official devices?
Several important points can be derived from statements in the court’s decision in City of Ontario v. Quon:
* Public employers are bound by the Fourth Amendment.
* Legitimate expectations of privacy may evolve with changing technology.
* It is important for employers to have clear, comprehensive policies that put employees on notice of the conditions of use of department-issued equipment.
* Since police communications may become evidence in a criminal case, officers should realize the risk that their messages may have to be disclosed.
* The ruling in Quon may not apply to all future scenarios of employer access to employee communications made over employer-issued devices.