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Electronic Mail, Privacy and the Public Sector: Guidelines for Public Employees and Organizations

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Schweik, Charles M.
Conference: Mini-Conference of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Location: Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: May 1-3, 1993
Date: 1993
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1350
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Subject(s): Workshop
Abstract: "What privacy rights are public employees entitled to when using their electronic mail systems? Are they entitled to privacy rights in the messages they send or receive? Or is it the case that they have no privacy rights to these messages whatsoever? Could it be that all information which resides in a public organization's computer system simply be the property of the organization? Unfortunately, no public sector electronic mail privacy case has been considered by the courts, but that does not mean Email privacy guidance does not exist. After a discussion on different interpretations of privacy, and a consideration of language's influence on its interpretation, the paper provides a summary of privacy provisions provided by the United States Constitution. The paper then investigates previous privacy considerations provided in other workplace situations - cases which involve technologies other than Email-- in search for common rules established by the Supreme Court. With this foundation, the paper then applies the same rules to an electronic mail environment and provides guidelines intended to assist public employees in the creation or reevaluation of their organization's electronic mail privacy policy."

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