Is my employer allowed to view the contacts in my phone without my permission?

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Is my employer allowed to view the contacts in my phone without my permission?

Yesterday, my business blackberry (EMC pays for) became damaged and EMC technical support had me completely wipe out my BB (factory reset) and they re-pushed all of their EMC app’s back to my BB. At that time, I noticed that all of my personal contacts from my personal Sprint EVO are now loaded onto my EMC blackberry. I certainly never authorized this, nor am I sure how they got the info. I don’t backup neither my EVO nor my BB on my laptop, so the info couldn’t of ever got crossed. Is this illegal? What other personal information on me do they have access to?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

IF the information is put onto a work cell phone, blackberry, smart phone, lap top, computer, PDA, etc., then the employer may view it. That includes if the information got there by accident or oversight or technical glitch. If the employer (or its staff, consultants, etc.) deliberately invaded your privacy to get the information in the first place--e.g. hacked another device or account of yours--then you may have a cause of action against them for that bad act. But if they are blameless in getting the information onto the work device or system, then you would seem to *not* have a cause of action against them, and further--as noted above--they would seem to be able to view or access the information, since it is now resident on company property and systems.


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