Thursday, May 29, 2014

No privacy in emails

From Inside Higher Ed comes (yet another) tale of a group that doesn't like a professor's work on a fishing expedition for emails.  As we have noted umpteen times, such requests come only about faculty at public universities.  Private universities are not covered by state equivalents of the Freedom of Information Act.  (Note, however, that an email from a private university faculty member to another at a public university might get swept into such requests.)

Although such requests in the past have come from conservative groups, in this case the request to a U of Virginia law prof seems to have come from what might be seen as the left. It is unlikely in this case that the request will be honored because of a prior court decision in Virginia.  But what happens there doesn't govern what might happen in other states including California. And each case is unique

The moral: Don't say anything in emails that you might not want to see in public.  Even if you use an outside provider such as gmail or Yahoo, an email you sent to someone at a public university could be targeted.

The specifics of this particular tale can be found at

No comments: