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Social Media and Privacy

by Joseph Raczynski

Legal Tech: Social Media & Privacy

I attended the “Social Media & Privacy” seminar of Virtual Legal Tech.  Jason Romrell General Counsel at InsuranceLeads.com spoke about “How Much Exposure is Too Much?”  In this discussion he offers two examples, and then provides specific awareness consulting about privacy surrounding social media.

First he discussed acts of, in his words, “privacy stupidity”.  In one example an employee of a large firm claimed workmen’s compensation and thus received medical benefits for the inability to walk.  When pictures of her surfing in South Beach appear on Facebook, her benefits were terminated immediately.  In the second example, Microsoft “fired” an employee for publicly posting a picture of the delivery of Apple’s Macbooks to Bill Gates building with Microsoft’s signage clearly in the background.

In both of these cases, Romrell points out that “off the clock” activities posted publically can be used against the individual.  Most companies operate using “at-will” employment, thus any action they do not approve of is grounds for dismissal.

In one very curious aspect he mentioned that the IRS and DOJ are also using social media, e.g. Twitter and Facebook, to investigate individuals with cause.

As Romrell underscores, it is crucial to recognize that any and all information posted online via social media has the potential to be viewed by anyone.  However, read what you see with a skeptical eye.  Be aware users who post as “Angie Smith” may actually be someone attempting to pass themselves off as Angie.

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