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Employee Rights and Facebook

Posted by attorney Vincent White

It is important to remember that Facebook and many other social networking sites are in the business of sharing and monetizing your personal information. Whenever you are provided a service free of charge (such as social networking) it is safe to assume that you, yourself are the product!

Accordingly, you should have no expectation of privacy for any information you post on any social networking site unless the terms of use for that service specifically tell you what and how some information may be kept private. Even then, from a practical standpoint, I would suggest not risking it.

Under current circumstances and under current case law it appears that in many jurisdictions employers may:

  1. Prohibit employees from utilizing facebook.
  2. Demand professional conduct of its employees, even on personal facebook accounts.

It is possible after recent campaigns by facebook and one particular case that employers may not:

  1. Demand you share the password and login information for your facebook account with your employer.

But remember, if you access your facebook account from your place of employment it is likely that they already have traffic and usage records of everything you have posted.

Be sure to check what your specific rights are in your State or Jurisdiction as laws and expectations of privacy may vary widely.

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