Corporations Have The Right Of Free Speech But No Right To Eavesdrop

In 1967, the California legislature enacted Penal Code § 632 as part of the “California Invasion of Privacy Act”. The statute imposes liability on “Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential conversation, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication . . . . .” (emphasis added).

Does § 632 apply when a corporation’s supervisory employees secretly monitor conversations between a customer and other corporate employees? San Diego Superior Court Judge William R. Nevitt, Jr. thought not, reasoning that the statute does not apply because it requires a third party and in this case there are only two parties – the corporation and the customer.

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Published In: Business Organization Updates, Labor & Employment Updates, Privacy Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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