I’d wager that anyone who uses a smartphone has probably butt dialed before, even if you don’t realize you did it. Butt dialing occurs when you accidentally hit the buttons on your smartphone and start a call without realizing you did. Some people immediately hang up when they receive a butt dial, but others like to listen in to see what they can hear being said.
One butt dial has led to a court case and resulted in a ruling that will make some folks even more leery of making a butt dial. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled this week that if you accidentally call someone else, whatever the person on the other end of that call hears is fair game for them to use.
The ruling came after a suit was filed against the assistant to the chief executive at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport took meticulous notes and recorded some of the conversation she heard when two member of the board of the airport were having a conversation she heard because of an accidental dial.
As the story goes one of the board members called the assistant to have her make them a restaurant reservation. After the board member hung up, he accidentally dialed her again and the assistant listened to the board members talk about firing her boss. She proceeded to take notes and record the conversation, then shared the recordings and notes with her boss and other board members. The board member then sued her under federal wiretapping guidelines. The appeals court ruled in the suit that if you accidentally call someone, the caller has no right to privacy liking it to leaving your curtains open at home.