Eric F. Barton, Esq. of Seyfarth Shaw LLP writes:
There is no question that social media privacy issues now permeate the workplace. In an attempt to provide further guidance and regulation in this area, since April 2012, a growing number of state legislatures in the United States have passed various forms of social media privacy legislation. In fact, to date, nearly all state legislatures, as well as the United States Congress, have considered or are considering some kind of social media privacy legislation.
The precise impact that these new social media privacy laws have on existing trade secret law is still very much in its infancy. Compounding matters, the plain language of several recently enacted privacy laws directly conflicts with judicial decisions regarding “company vs. employee” ownership of social media content that may otherwise constitute protectable trade secrets, including contact lists and business relationships. Moreover, very few court decisions have yet to interpret any of the new social media privacy laws.
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