Social media, love it or leave it? Social media has become an indispensable part of business. There is no question that social media is an effective marketing tool. Statistics show that 14% of consumers do not trust advertisements, but 90% trust peer recommendations. So go ahead and love social media, but like any love affair, be wary of some pitfalls along the way.
Unintended loss of trade secrets -
Companies who fail to limit use of trade secrets on social media can easily lose a trade-secret claim. Because an essential element of a trade-secret claim is that the information is not readily accessible to others by proper means, an employer who fails to prevent employees from publishing trade secrets on social media may lose the ability to claim that the information is a trade secret. An employer who allows employees to “connect” with customers and clients on LinkedIn, without ensuring ad- equate privacy controls so that others can- not view the information, allows those employees to in effect publish a customer list.
Originally published in Business North Carolina 2014 Law Journal in May, 2014.
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