Professional Ethics - Social Networking

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1. In the Quon V. Ontario case, the police officers filed a lawsuit even thought they were not fired for the information that the police chief learned about their text messages. How, if at all, is someone harmed simply by another person reading private text messages?

This case centered on the apparent right of privacy. DesJardin’s described privacy as “…important because it serves to define one’s individuality” (p.142). It is likely Jeff Quan did not give any indication to his peers of his outlandish sexual preferences, although he kept it private these character traits gave him is individuality. DesJardin concludes, “that certain personal decisions and information are rightfully the exclusive domain of the individual” (p.142). Therefore, the content of Mr. Quan’s text messages was private and he had the right to “be informed about any information that employers possess or gather…”(p.143). Furthermore, this information is not relevant to work tasks or performance. Jeff Quan understood opinions are very difficult to remove and carry biases. The proverbial Pandora’s Box opened when the police chief read the officers text messages without consent. It is impossible to un-read what was contained the messages; the chief will always know and remember Mr. Quan’s sexual preferences and judge him accordingly. Jeff Quan had a reasonable assumption his messages were private and were only pertinent between his girlfriend and himself. If he knew his messages would be subject to scrutiny and made public to his superiors it is likely he would have not discussed this information. It would be the equivalent of sharing secrets loudly next to the office gossip queen. Side Note: I looked up this case. I worded my response as per the information given in the book. However, in this specific case, a previous standing “computer policy” clearly informed employees of their expectation to privacy. It states the City “reserves the right to monitor and log all network...
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