"If services monitor in 'real-time' even with the employees’ consent, those that the employee corresponds with may have a cause of action," he said by email. "This decision not only places potential liability on the individual using the service but the service itself."
The case could also raise alarm bells for vendors of software as a service, said Dimitri Sirota, CEO and founder of BigID, an enterprise privacy management vendor.
The ruling "raises serious questions about the liability of software-as-service companies in suits where software is used to violate privacy, " he said by email. "With many software packages now delivered as SaaS, the case "raises the specter that a vendor could end up as a co-defendant if a user (company or individual) makes use of the software-as-service in an illegal way."
Awareness Technologies didn't immediately respond to a request for comments on the court ruling.
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