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Court Rules Employee Has No Right to Privacy on Company PC

Challenge to privacy laws is shot down in New Jersey court

A challenge to the laws governing the privacy of employee data didn't have a leg to stand on in New Jersey's Supreme Court.

In the New Jersey computer privacy case, a former employee of Certified Data Products was convicted of stealing $650,000 from CDP, largely on the strength of records accessed via his company PC, which was done without a search warrant.

The employee, who was identified only as MA in court records, maintains that the computer was his, and that CDP had no right to authorize a police search. The case, which was heard in April and unsealed last week, had been expected to raise some issues as to an employee's right to privacy in the workplace.

As it turned out, however, MA did not own the computer. In fact, records show he bought it initially with a company credit card, and then, after claiming it was his, got the company to pay him $500 for the used machine at a later date.

MA argued that he had a right to privacy because he had a private office and had put passwords on his computers to protect his personal information from third party access. But the court found this argument insufficient to overturn the lower-court conviction, since the computers clearly belonged to the company.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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