Employee Internet Privacy: A Proposed Act that Balances Legitimate Employer Rights and Employee Privacy

Employee Internet Privacy: A Proposed Act that Balances Legitimate Employer Rights and Employee Privacy

 

Susan Park

 

Abstract:     

In the past two years, forty-three states and Congress have passed or considered legislation which generally prohibits employers from asking employees or job applicants for login information to gain access to their personal social media accounts. This legislative development is fascinating, particularly because it moves against the otherwise prevailing belief that employee privacy is on the decline. Nonetheless, a significant number of state legislatures clearly believe this protection is necessary, and rightly so. In a world where online privacy is increasingly in question, these statutes are necessary to help strike a better balance between an employer’s legitimate business interests and the employee’s right to keep personal information private. They are also a healthy step toward reinstating some of the privacy interests employees have lost over the years, particularly due to the development of new workplace technology that makes monitoring and access to private information easier. However, these statutes certainly have their share of criticism, some of which is valid. Generally, those critical of the legislation believe either that password protection is simply unnecessary or that individual statutes are inadequate. Additionally, the differences from state to state are significant enough that they will likely pose real challenges to multi-state employers as they attempt to navigate them. These laws are so recent that no cases have yet challenged their application. To date, only a small number of published articles have analyzed this trend; none has thoroughly analyzed the statutes and bills, nor introduced any model legislation. This article fills that gap. It examines the current legislation, both enacted and proposed. It argues in favor of these laws, generally, but shows that no current statute or bill adequately balances the need for employers to investigate and monitor job applicants and current employees while also recognizing their privacy interests. Therefore, this article proposes model language that should form the basis for a federal statute. In doing so, it also adds to the call from scholars about the need for comprehensive federal legislation to address employee Internet privacy.

 

 

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Google Plus to Drop Real Name Policy

This week Google Plus announced that they were no longer prohibiting pseudonyms by their users.  Here is the blog post announcement from Google Plus.

When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of real people, but it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names… we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be.

No one is exactly sure why the change was made but I offer 3 possible reasons.

(1) Last desperate attempt by Google Plus to get people to use its platform.

(2) Another way for Google Plus to distinguish itself from Facebook which does not allow pseudonyms.

(3) Google Plus finally sees the downside of real-name enforcement.

To read more about this change go here and here.

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Social Media Conference on the Military and Defense Industry (Nov 17th-18th)

For those interested in learning more about how social media impacts the military and the defense industry, consider attending the Social Media within the Defence and Military sector conference. The conference, hosted by SMi Group, will be held from Nov. 17th to the 18th and will take place in London. Here is a brief description of the conference.

SMi Group are thrilled to announce the 4th annual Social Media within the Military and Defence sector conference convening in 2014 on the 17th and 18th of November in central London.This is your oppurtunity to discuss and network with MoD’s from across the world and key military institutions such as the U.S Army, Royal British Legion and NATO. Understand the latest instrumental uses of social media, including its integral role in recruitment, operations, audience engagement and crisis management. 

Social media is an essential part of modern communication and it is a conversation that is essential to the military and defence sector. This conference promises to give your organisation the tools and knowledge necessary to excel in this field of communication. The latest technological developments, strategic applications and cutting edge case studies will be explored by experts in the field.

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Using Videos, Playlists and Facebook in Law School

 

Dionne E. Anthon

 

 

Anna P. Hemingway

 

 

Amanda L. Smith

 

Abstract:      

This essay examines how law school education can be modernized through the use of technology. First, the essay acknowledges that the current use of technology in most law school classrooms lacks appeal to today’s students. It briefly explores the use of PowerPoints, podcasts, and clickers and suggests that students have grown bored with this technological trio because of overuse and familiarity. Second, the essay proposes that today’s students will be better served in class if professors would use the technology that students more typically use. It advocates for the addition of internet videos, music playlists, and Facebook groups to the law school classroom. Finally, the essay proposes a methodology for incorporating the technological trifecta into law school classrooms and the advantages of doing so.

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Anonymity in Social Media

Anonymity in Social Media

 

 

Laura Rogal


Abstract:      

This article speaks to the adoption of pseudonyms in social media and the legal viability of such usage. It walks through the historical justification of anonymous speech in the United States, and points out the conflict between those free speech philosophies and current needs to identify anonymous online users. The article also explains how and why an anonymous online user can be unmasked through use of legal process.

 

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10 Most Influential Attorneys in Social Media Law

1.  John Browning

 

2.  John Delaney

 

3.  Kevin O’Keefe

 

4.  Ryan Garcia

 

5.  Bryan Wassom

 

6.  Ruth Carter

 

7.  Bradley Shear

 

8.  Pedram Tabibi

 

9.  David Bell

 

10.  Erik Syverson

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Death by Bullying: A Comparative Culpability Proposal

Death by Bullying: A Comparative Culpability Proposal

Audrey Rogers

Abstract:

On-line connectedness through social media sites has exacerbated all aspects of adolescent angst. Proposals to address cyber-bullying typically suggest school-based solutions such as sensitivity training and codes of conduct. A less frequent tool to stop bullying is criminal prosecutions, typically for harassment or stalking. Despite these steps, the extreme consequence of bullying — suicide — is occurring with alarming regularity. My paper explores the possibility and advisability of homicide charges against cyber-bullies, a controversial approach because of the serious causation questions it poses. Nonetheless, there is precedent for holding a person criminally culpable for a victim’s suicide. A notorious case involved the head of the Ku Klux Klan who was convicted of murder after the woman he raped killed herself by swallowing poison “distracted by pain and shame so inflicted upon her.” Some may see her shame as analogous to gay teens who commit suicide after being bullied about their sexual orientation. But perhaps the law should not demand that free will be completely lacking before a person is charged for another’s suicide. In other instances such as provocation, the criminal law recognizes the relationship between victim and defendant shapes culpability. This paper explores whether it is feasible and desirable to do so with suicides.

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