Technology: 4 tips for avoiding social media ethical pitfalls

How in-house counsel can ensure appropriate corporate technology and social media use

New technologies empower your employees to become digital kings and queens, placing the business world at their fingertips. Cell phones keep employees constantly connected to clients across the globe. Social media creates limitless connections to business contacts at the touch of a button. And an ever-expanding array of mobile devices bundle these emerging technologies together, enabling your employees to be lean, mean, business-generating machines. But with great technological power comes even greater corporate responsibility.

Amidst the business landscape lurk legal pitfalls arising from employees’ social media and mobile device use that you, as in-house counsel, must be aware of in order to protect your company. Over the past few months, we’ve introduced critical components to help insulate your company from liability arising out of your employees’ technology use. We offered steps to strengthen your company’s smartphone security to reduce the risk of sensitive information being accessed if your employees’ smartphones fall into the wrong hands. We stressed the importance of social media policies to govern the appropriate use of Facebook and Twitter, and cautioned against requiring employees and applicants to turn over their social media user names and passwords. We also provided simple steps to reduce employee distracted driving while using these technologies in order to limit exposure for distracted-driving lawsuits. But amongst all of the corporate opportunities and risks inherent in an ever-increasing technological world, one concern still hits closest to home for attorneys: ethics.

Contributing Author

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Heather Melick

Heather Melick is of counsel with Luper Neidenthal & Logan in Columbus, Ohio. She focuses on the areas of complex commercial litigation, appellate work, military...

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Contributing Author

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Ethan Wall

Ethan Wall is a social media law attorney, author, professor, and keynote speaker at Social Media Law and Order in Miami. Ethan co-authored “

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