Case Study: Bill Mclaren Vs. Microsoft Corporation

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Term Paper Regina Halim Bill McLaren v. Microsoft Corporation (1999) GB 110 Introduction: Professor Rowland The Founding Fathers created the US constitution in order to promote freedom for the people. The Fourth Amendment of the US constitution limits the government from searching and inspecting individuals’ personal property. It grants people the right to their privacy unless a warrant is issued. Violations of privacy could occur in the workplace that affect workers’ rights. Violations of privacy in the workplace usually arise between the employer and employee. For…show more content…
Microsoft Corporation privacy violation case took place in 1999 in Texas. The Plaintiff, Bill McLaren, accused the defendant, Microsoft Corporation, of violating his privacy by searching the personal folder stored on his computer. In this case dealing with violation of privacy, Bill McLaren was an employee in Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft corporation provided McLaren with personal computer and access to the company’s email system to assist him in the performance of his duties. Access to the email system was gained by a use of network password, which is known by both the plaintiff and the defendant. Additionally, Microsoft permitted the plaintiff a personal folder, in which he could store e-mail he received; access to the folder password, which is only known by the…show more content…
Firstly, knowing the company provided electronic equipment, McLaren should have avoided keeping any sensitive and private information on his desktop. Emails do not raise a sense of confidentiality as it can be transmitted across servers, networks, and forwarded to others; there is no guarantee of email confidentiality. In my opinion, Microsoft itself should prevent the creation of mailboxes with passwords or should have been more clear upfront and more direct that the system and any use can be monitored at any time. Either of the options would prevent and apparent breach that McLaren took to court. Finally, emails in the workstation would prove him innocent but Microsoft did not let McLaren access his email during the investigation. I feel in that time, it is easier to tell the truth of the matter, instead of bringing the course through a litigation process. Furthermore, the fact that McLaren stated that locker in Trotti for specific purpose of storing “personal belongings.” The locker in Trotti was a discrete, physical place where the employee, could separate, set apart, and store their belongings. The storage system for e-mail messages is not so discrete. As asserted by McLaren in his petition, e-mail was delivered to the server-based inbox and was stored there to read. McLaren could leave his e-mail on the server or he could move the message to a

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