Published by LawTechie - March 21, 2012 - LawTechie

Internet LawLast night I spoke at an employment event at my undergraduate alma mater where one of my fellow panelists warned the students to be careful with their Facebook accounts and other social media accounts because companies are now asking potential employees to sign waivers granting access to their private accounts. The first part was common sense — we obviously need to carefully watch the dissemination of our private information in this digital age — but the later part, regarding the waivers, took me completely aback. But sure enough (and coincidentally enough), Wendy Davis reports today on MediaPost:

Today, the Associated Press reports about companies that are asking job applicants for their Facebook log-in credentials, or to log in during the interview, or otherwise reveal information about their social media profiles.

Wendy rightly points out that these companies must have failed to consult with their legal teams. Requiring employees to provide access to their private social media accounts exposes the companies to possible (read: inevitable) litigation. E.g., failure to hire for (a) religious beliefs, (b) marital status, (c) health status, or (d) all of the above.

I will update when we see the first inevitable lawsuit come out of this.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.

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