The relatively new technology of electronic mail (e-mail) presents an entirely new issue of workplace privacy. Currently, whether a person has a privacy interest in their workplace e-mail communications is as unsettled an issue as it has been since the technology emerged in the early part of this decade as the preferred mode of communication in the workplace. Indeed, e-mail may soon be the preferred mode of communication in general. This comment will argue that all e-mail users have a privacy interest in workplace e-mail communications and that the current law does not afford e-mail users any type of protection for this interest. Part I will address the rise of e-mail in the workplace and the privacy interest users have in their workplace e-mail. Part II will discuss the law currently in existence that has been applied to workplace e-mail privacy and how this body of law has failed to recognize a privacy interest in workplace e-mail messages. Part III will discuss the few solutions that have been proposed to deal with workplace e-mail privacy and how these fall far short of protecting this important privacy interest. This comment will then propose a structure of federal legislation to address this issue, concluding that e-mail in the workplace should be a protected privacy interest and that federal legislation is the only way in which to protect this interest.
Building a Community Through Workplace E-Mail: The New Privacy Frontier,
Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mttlr/vol5/iss1/6