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Employer Retains Ultimate Authority to Consent to Government Search of Employee Office and Computer

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    United States v. Ziegler, 474 F.3d 1184 (9th Cir. 2007) (0 other reports)

Author: Jessica Sussman

In United States v. Ziegler, +474 F.3d 1184 (9th Cir. 2007), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a private office and password-protected computer when the office is locked and not shared with others.

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. The protections of the Fourth Amendment apply when an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

In this case, the circuit court found that an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the employee's workplace computer, but an employer retains the ultimate authority to consent to a government search of the employee's office, including the computer and its contents, where they are within the employer's common authority and control.