Cell Phone Text Messages Are Private…NOT!

Uh oh…talk about a couple of folks who were caught with their hand in the cookie jar (so to speak)…and caught lying under oath.
CNN recently ran a story about how Christine Beatty resigned from her position as chief of staff for Detroit, Michigan, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick after a large amount of explicit Blackberry text messages, “tens of thousands” were discovered from 2003 and 2004.

They both are married…to other people…as they were back when the text messages occurred.

“Both Beatty and Kilpatrick denied a relationship existed when they testified in a whistleblower case brought by two former Detroit police officers who claimed they were fired for investigating the mayor’s extramarital affair. The officers were awarded $6.5 million by a Wayne County jury. In total, the case has cost the city more than $9 million.”

So, Beatty and Kilpatrick are now subject to being found guilty of perjury.
SkyTel, a Mississippi telecommunications company, preserved, and continues to retain, the text messages.
This case points out something important you and your personnel should know…
Most people believe cell phone text messages go only from the sender’s to the receiver’s phone. This is a good lesson demonstrating that messaging of all kinds, including text messaging, cannot be considered as secure and private.
If you are sending and receiving text messages using a phone paid for by your employer, keep in mind your employer may be able to read those messages. Let your employees know that they should not be sending any text messages on company cell phones and Blackberry devices that they would not want the rest of the company to read, and that those messages are also subject to e-discovery access.

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