Here’s the situation: a contractor issued a phone to one of its employees. The now-former employee is accused of insider trading based on third-party information he allegedly accessed while employed. The SEC wants his passcode for the company phone. Employee asserts Fifth Amendment protection (although he now lives in China – citizenship not clear).
“Judge Rules Phone Passcodes Are Protected Information,” The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2015 A3. Judge rules that since the employee never shared the passcode with his employer, he can invoke the Fifth, as the passcodes are personal, and not company, information.
Leaving aside whether non-citizens can invoke the Fifth Amendment (which speaks in terms of “no person”), does this mean that the company now has to require employees with a company-issued phone to use a company-supplied passcode? Can the company require exiting employees to provide their phone code? If a company doesn’t take these steps, what does that say?