Why care about Wisconsin v. Bowers?
The Appellant, a police officer, created a DropBox account using his police department email address--duh.
He then used the DropBox to transfer documents or give access to specific folders to others--sharing.
He then put police reports of several murder investigations into the folders for others to have access to.
The police were not happy that the investigations fell into the wrong hands and soon learned about the DropBox account.
Because it was an "official account" the IT folks simply accessed the DropBox account. When the went to log in they arlready had the email address so all they had to do was click "forgot password" and whamo--they get to reset the password. Apparently Bowers wasn't using 2FA--duh.
Having gotten access, the IT folks and the prosecutor soon found what they were looking for. But, not so fast, the search was all done without a warrant. That's why Bowers is an interesting case to read about a reasonable expectation of privacy in a DropBox account where there is sharing.
The critical word saving Bower on appeal is "password."
And may you be having fair winds and following seas for 2023.
Disclaimer: Posts are the authors' personal views and do not reflect the position of any organization or government agency.
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