Friday, June 19, 2015

Is Your Confidential Info Being Leaked On Social Media?

If you're reading this blog post, you are probably well aware that social media has become an integral part of the world as we know it. Most people log in to their social media accounts multiple times a day and may spend several hours absorbing and sharing content. People post statuses and tweets about their daily lives, discussing everything from big news to mundane activities. Most of these posts are completely benign, but some of them can have major consequences.

In one of our earlier blog posts, we looked closely at how social media affects the law and examined certain examples of when people faced legal consequences for posts they made on social media. Today, the team at O'Donnell Law Center is here to examine one of the other major challenges faced by social media users today: leaks of confidential information.


Business Secrets Are Being Leaked On Social Media

As social media becomes a more and more integral part of our lives, we begin paying less and less attention to the information we post online. Many people are now treating their tweets and statuses like a conversation with their good friends, rather than reserving their posts for major highlights. As their posting styles become more informal, people might pay less attention to the material they post and may not think about the legal consequences that could lie in store.

One particularly troubling example of this is that which many businesses are now experiencing - confidential information being leaked on social media. What seems like an innocent post to you may accidentally reveal information to the public that was intended for only a select audience. 

Examples Of Confidentiality Breaches

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly common for confidential information to be exposed on social media. Here are a few examples:
  • In 2010, someone in the Israeli military leaked the time and location of a scheduled raid in his Facebook status, which caused the military to cancel the entire operation. (See the full article here.)
  • In 2011, news of Hewlett-Packard's new tablet computer was leaked before the official launch, which caused the main announcement to fall flat. (See the full article here.)
  • In 2014, the Chief Financial Officer of Francesca's (women's specialty retailer) was fired for "improperly communicating company information through social media." (See the full article here.)
This article offers several other great examples of confidentiality breaches on social media, including insider information about Renault firing three senior executives and even Facebook's own corporate financial situation.

Be Careful What You Post - And How You Regulate Employees

Today, it is not at all uncommon for employers to specifically mention social media regulations in their confidentiality agreements. In many cases, leaking company information like the examples above could be grounds for employment termination. You never know when a seemingly innocent post could leak sensitive information and put your company (and your job) at risk.

If you would like help drafting legal documents that will protect your information, set up a consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks business attorney. We would be happy to assist you.

Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.

O'Donnell Law Center

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


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O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065
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