Can Text Messages Be Monitored By Employer [Legit Facts ’22]

Written By FarhanMax

Technology has been a great advantage to the workplace. Employers now monitor their employees to increase productivity and efficiency.

As an employee, you have a personal life besides your working space. It’s alright to be concerned with your text message privacy.can-text-messages-be-monitored-by-employer-sHowever, there are some laws and regulations to limit employers on how far they can go when it comes to invading employee privacy. It can be different depending on the circumstance to balance the privacy of the workspace and private life.

In this article, I’ll cover if an employer can monitor your text messages and the laws and regulations behind the act.

Stay with me to know the laws and ensure your legitimate rights.

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Employee Monitoring Laws and Regulations

Employee monitoring is an old subject. Companies started monitoring their employees more carefully as more people adopted remote work. The federal and state introduced many employee monitoring laws to improve businesses and protect them from misuse.

Employers have been using these laws for decades. With improved technologies, the law has been implemented in electronic communications. Keep reading to know more about the law and regulations and their exceptions in employee monitoring.

Here are some employee monitoring laws and regulations:

1. Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986

This federal law prohibits unauthorized interception, disclosure, or use of wire, oral or electronic communications. Phone, computer, telephone, and email are included under this law. However, there are some exceptions in business that allow the employer to monitor an employee.

Here are the exceptions to this law:

Business Exception

Federal and most state privacy laws allow an employer to monitor the electronic activities of an employee. This is used for legitimate business purposes, improving customer service, avoiding illicit activities, and maintaining a proper working schedule.

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Consent to Monitoring

This law allows employers to monitor an employee’s message as long as they provide valid reasons. Monitoring can be done if the employee gives verbal or written consent. Also, some monitoring permission doesn’t require employee consent because of the company policy.the exceptions-to-this-law

Owned Systems by Employer

Employers can access the company’s mobile, computer, email, IM, and other devices. They can monitor them even if an employee uses them for personal use.

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Limitation on Monitoring

Monitoring is allowed, but there are some limitations. The employer can’t monitor an employee continuously. Other than business reasons, he isn’t allowed to access personal information.

2. Computer Hacking Laws

Federal and all state laws prohibit anyone from using others’ accounts and passwords for unauthorized access to a personal computer or account. This includes modifying, changing, or deleting any information or data from the account or computer.

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Can My Employer Monitor My Text Messages?

The Electronic Communication Privacy Act is a federal law that allows employers to access an employee’s text messages under certain circumstances. Your employer can see your messages, but it can differ depending on the device, reason, and situation.the-laws-in-different-circumstances-s

Here are the laws in different circumstances:

1. Employers Device

If you have a company-provided device, such as a phone or computer, your employer has the right to monitor your text messages.

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2. Personal Device

According to the Penal Code section on Invasion of Privacy, without consent, no one is allowed to see the text communication of an employee.

If you spend much time with your device other than your work, the employer has a valid reason to monitor your device. Also, if you give verbal or written consent or the company has a policy, they can monitor it.

3. Employers Account

Employers can monitor the account provided by the company. It can be an email, IM, or other account, even if it’s given to the employee to use it.

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4. Personal Account

It’s not allowed to see the password-protected personal accounts of an employee without his consent. But it can change depending on the circumstances. If an employee uses his account to leak or transfer data, he can be questioned and monitored.

Additionally, a company database can store his information if he is using a company-provided device or work network. The employer can monitor easily as most companies use monitoring software nowadays.

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What Should Employees Do?

There is not much an employee can do if the employer decides to monitor them. The federal law permits the company to monitor its employees. Employers will do their best to keep employee productivity running.

Monitoring software is affordable and can monitor everything pretty effortlessly. So, an employee should not expect much privacy in the office space. Professional employees who use company-provided devices know about the policy and don’t mind being monitored by employers.

Employees should refrain from sending private messages using company devices, accounts, or networks. They need to be professional about using personal devices to text messages.

At last, be aware of the consent you are giving and the company policy you are signing. You should consider taking legal action if anything is breaking the law.

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FAQs

Can my employer read my text messages on iPhone?

No, if there’s no monitoring software installed on your iPhone, your employer won’t be able to see SMS messages and iMessages.

What can my employer see on my personal iPhone?

Your employer can see the location of your iPhone, internet traffic, browsing history, apps you regularly use, and time you spend and can remotely install or uninstall applications from your device.

Can my employer read my text messages through WiFi?

It’s effortless to sort messages sent through WiFi using monitoring software.

A Final Thought

Employers can obviously monitor your message when you use a company-owned system. It depends on how you use it for your system.

Employee monitoring has increased by 600% during and after the pandemic era. It can be a concerning matter when it comes to your privacy.

I’ve provided the legislation and your obligation in this article, and I hope it will help you throughout your career.

Happy life!

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