Six Lines

Supreme Court to Hear Employee Privacy Case

Posted by Aaron Massey on 04 Oct 2010.

The Supreme Court begins its fall term today, and it has an interesting employee privacy case on the docket for tomorrow. From the AP article:

In 2007, NASA extended background checks for federal employees to its contract workers in response to a presidential directive that ordered government agencies to beef up security at facilities and computer systems by issuing new identification badges for millions of civil servants and contractors.

None of the JPL workers who sued work on classified projects or have security clearances, though several are involved in high-profile missions including the twin Mars rovers and the Cassini spacecraft studying Saturn and its moons.

The plaintiffs don’t deny that the government has the right to confirm a person’s identity and education for employment. But requiring background checks of low-risk employees, which includes probes into medical records, finances and drug history, is an invasion of privacy, they say.

SCOTUS Blog discusses more detailed background on the case.