Be careful of those pocket dials (butt dials) !

We all accidentally dial people by bumping and sitting on our cell phones.  This accident could not only be a cause of embarrassment but also some tough legal consequences.

While on a business trip, James Huff and Larry Savage had a discussion about a business contact, Candace McGraw.  Unbeknownst to Mr. Huff, he had accidentally pocket dialed (aka “butt dialed”) Ms. McGraw’s assistant, Carol Spaw, just before he began the discussion with Mr. Savage.  Ms. Spaw answered her phone and tried to get Mr. Huff’s attention, but she couldn’t.  So, she listened continuously for approximately 91 minutes, actually recording part of the discussion because she believed she heard Mr. Huff and Mr. Savage plotting to discriminate against Ms. McGraw.

Mr. Huff brought suit against Ms. Spaw for intentionally intercepting his private conversation in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510, et seq. (Title III).  The dismissal of Mr. Huff’s lawsuit against Ms. Spaw was upheld by the United States Court Of Appeals For The Sixth Circuit on the basis Mr. Huff’s statements do not qualify as oral communications for Title III purposes because he exposed them to Ms. Spaw when he pocket dialed her.

It’s time for everyone to make sure their password is active and watch how you carry your cell phone!

Learn more about how accidental pocket dials can affect your privacy

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