|“||a person or entity providing an electronic communications service to the public from knowingly divulging to any person or entity the contents of a communication while in electronic storage by that service.||”|
Courts have been examining whether the disclosure of text messages sent by employees on employer-issued pagers violates the privacy rights of employees, and whether such disclosure is barred by the Stored Communications Act. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the city-employer violated the constitutional rights of an employee when the employer reviewed text messages sent and received by the employee on his employer-provided pager. The court of appeals also held that the text-messaging service provider violated the federal Stored Communications Act by giving the city transcripts of the text messages. In Quon v. Arch Wireless, the Ninth Circuit held that a city's text message provider was an electronic communications service for purposes of the Act because it enabled city employees to send and receive wire communications. The U.S. Supreme Court later reversed.