Don’t Expect Privacy Laws To Protect Your Butt-Dial

Security / Tech

We’ve all done it. We’ve all been embarrassed by it. The infamous butt-dial. It happens at the most inopportune times too. Those moments when you’re sticking your foot in your mouth or having an ultra private conversation. Did I just say private? Well, don’t expect those butt-dial calls to be private if you’re taken to court. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy if they dial their phone inadvertently with their derriere, or any other part of their body.

The case that produced this ruling comes out of Cincinnati where Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (former) board chairman James Huff inadvertently dialed the assistant to the CEO of the airport Carol Spaw. Spaw attempted to talk with Huff over the phone but was getting no response, after some attempts she realized she had been butt-dialed and continued listening in on Huff conversation. After some time Spaw decided to record the conversation using her iPhone because she heard talk of Huff firing her boss, the CEO of the airport. Spaw shared the recording with the board and Huff went on to sue Spaw for violation of federal wire-tapping law.

The Sixth Circuit court rejected Huff’s argument that he had a reasonable expectation to privacy, saying that he nullified that right by owning a device that could inadvertently expose his conversations to other parties.

The court told Huff he could have avoided the butt-dial had he taken measures to secure his phone with a pin or other apps that could have prevented his mistake. So there you have it, don’t expect privacy if your cheeks make a phone call.

What do you think of the courts decision? Read the whole case here. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

  Source: Vanity Fair

image courtesy re/code

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