In 2011, InfoLawGroup began its "Legal Implications" series for social media by posting Part One (The Basics) and Part Two (Privacy). In this post (Part Three), we explore how security concerns and legal risk arise and interact in the social media environment.There are three main security-related issues that pose potential security-related legal risk. First, to the extent that employees are accessing and using social media sites from company computers (or increasingly from personal computers connected to company networks or storing sensitive company data), malware, phishing and social engineering attacks could result in security breaches and legal liability. Second, spoofing and impersonation attacks on social networks could pose legal risks. In this case, the risk includes fake fan pages or fraudulent social media personas that appear to be legitimately operated. Third, information leakage is a risk in the social media context that could result in an adverse business and legal impact when confidential information is compromised.
As we have discussed on our blog, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has continued a campaign of enforcement actions against employers who, according to the NLRB, have unlawfully terminated employees for discussing working conditions on social media. As we reported, in the first of such "Facebook" enforcement actions to come before an NLRB administrative judge, the employer was ordered to reinstate five employees and to pay back their wages.On September 28, 2011, in the second "Facebook" case to reach an NLRB administrative judge, an employer was found to have been justified in terminating an employee car salesman for Facebook postings that mocked the employer and did not concern working conditions
As social media and networking continue to revolutionize modern-day marketing and become the norm for organizations of all types, shapes and sizes, it is even more important to adequately address the legal risks associated with social media use. In Part One of our Legal Implications series, we laid out some background and identified key areas of legal risk. In the next few posts InfoLawGroup is going to look deeper at some of these risks. In this post we explore some of the privacy legal issues that companies should address if they want to leverage social media.
Much like the "Cloud computing revolution" there is an almost frenzied excitement around social media, and many companies are stampeding to exploit social networking. The promise of increased intimate customer interactions, input and loyalty, and enhanced sales and expanded market share can result in some organizations overlooking the thorny issues arising out of social networking. Many of these issues are legal in nature and could increase the legal risk and liability potential of an organization employing a social media strategy.In this multi-part series the InfoLawGroup will identify and explore the legal implications of social media. This series will help organizations begin to identify some of the legal risks associated with social media so that they may start addressing and mitigating these risks while maximizing their social media strategy. In Part One of the series, we will provide a high level overview of the legal risks and issues associated with an organization's use of social media. In subsequent parts members of the InfoLawGroup team will take a deeper dive into these matters, and provide some practical insight and strategic direction for addressing these issues. As always, we view our series as the beginning of a broader conversation between ourselves and the larger community, and we welcome and strongly encourage comments, concerns, corrections and criticisms.
We previously reported on our blog that a Connecticut ambulance company settled the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) allegations that the company violated an employee's federal rights by firing her for criticizing a manager on Facebook. The NLRB continues its enforcement blitz with another Facebook firing complaint.
Yesterday we wrote on our blog about the NLRB's Facebook firing settlement. I was interviewed on Fox Live this morning about the case, its implications for employees and businesses, and other developments in workplace privacy. You can view the clip at http://video.foxnews.com/v/4531424/facebook-firing-case-settlement/?playlist_id=87937
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced that settlement has been reached in the closely watched Facebook firing suit brought by the agency.We have previously reported on our blog that the NLRB filed an administrative complaint against a Connecticut ambulance company alleging that the company violated an employee's federal rights by firing her for criticizing a manager on Facebook. In the complaint, the NLRB took the position that union and non-union employees have a right to criticize their employers, management or working conditions, and cannot be punished for engaging in such protected activity. The NLRB also alleged that the company maintained overly-broad rules in its employee handbook regarding blogging, Internet posting, and communications between employees. The complaint asserted that an employee's right to criticize the employer and management is an extension of the federal right to discuss unionization and form unions.
Social networking entails some risks and responsibilities. It may implicate privacy and labor law, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements, advertising regulations, defamation, and other legal regimes, across borders in a global medium. Users, and their employers, need to be aware of these risks and responsibilities in deciding how to make best use of social media.