Wednesday, April 16, 2014

VeepGeek and Tech Issues

A lot of you probably read the title and thought, "what's VeepGeek?" That's @VeepGeek - aka the Twitter handle for Angie Singer Keating, CEO of Reclamere - Data Security Experts in Tyrone, PA (Lawffice Space fun fact: my father grew up in Tyrone). Angie sent me two interesting IT-related articles that I wanted to pass along.

First, a warning from a panel of judges to lawyers to Catch Up with Tech or Lose Your Career. The panel included Judge Shira Scheindlin (of Zubulake fame), and this great line from Judge James Francis: "E-discovery is pervasive. It's like understanding civil procedure." That's an interesting way to look at it. I don't know that e-discovery is as pervasive as the rules of civil procedure quite yet - but it's a point well-taken.

The second article is Does Fourth Amendment protect computer data? Scalia says it’s a really good question. What does the 4th Amendment (search and seizure) have to do with employment law? Glad you asked! First. public employers may face Fourth Amendment claims. And second, privacy expectations often bleed across criminal procedure into invasion of privacy torts.

If you want a good example of tech data searches hitting the workplace and resulting in litigation, then check out the SCOTUS case Quon v. City of Ontario from a few years back. The Court stayed out of some of the thornier issues presented by mobile technology - but did address some overall privacy concerns. Scalia's comments give us some hope that the Supreme Court may be ready to take on some data search issues.