Social Media Also Means Potential New Litigation
According to a recent survey, “about 42 percent of network administrators are ‘moderately concerned’ to ‘extremely concerned’ about the security threats associated with employees using social media in the workplace. Social media was defined in the survey as social networking sites, blogs, online video services, micro-sharing and widgets.”
In the latest What Keeps Network Administrators Up at Night survey from Amplitude Research, findings indicate a strong correlation between the respondents who said they are concerned about a network security breach and those who are concerned about employees using social media on the corporate network. The eWeek.com article went on to say that “approximately 36 percent of network administrators said employees have unlimited access to social media.”
“As most organizations allow at least limited access to social media via the company network, many network administrators are left worrying about the increased risks of viruses, data leaks and intrusions that can result from employee use of social media,” the report said.
With this kind of employee access, it is essential that business owners know how to cover themselves in case something bad does occur—from a legal standpoint. This Thursday at 1 p.m., SIPA is holding a free Webinar for Members, titled Managing Your Company’s Social Media Exposures and Insurance Coverage Issues.
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and the like have revolutionized online communication. But social networks also present some novel problems for publishers. The webinar will look at the legal issues involved, such as defamation, copyright and trademark law. Also under discussion will be some of the insurance concerns with these new technologies and how to protect your company.
Speakers for the Webinar will be Mike DiSilvestro, V.P. Claims from AXIS PRO; Christopher Beall, a lawyer from Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz, LLP; and a SIPA publisher. They will tackle these unique issues that make social media a lightning rod for legal challenges.
– It’s not just user/website interaction
– Platforms/third parties/users
– Multiple interactions
– Platform providers need to protect business/third parties/users
– Businesses leveraging platforms need to understand platform rules and ensure that users of platform do not create a liability (platforms/partners are getting sued together)
Legal components are critical to social media issues and strategies today. While this legal landscape changes rapidly, many issues are not being adequately addressed by individual companies. At the same time, enforcements and litigation are starting to advance. So staying up to date and ahead of the curve is necessary.
In addition, we are becoming increasingly comfortable with sharing more and more information through social media. This is information that could also lead to legal issues–and even personal safety issues. So it’s also important to make sure your privacy settings are up to date. Otherwise, your casual online conversations and settings could end up giving someone all the information they need to take advantage of you. And this could lead to litigation as well.
A lawyer advises: “Like most other issues regarding social media, how a given employer deals with a given question depends a lot on the employer, its industry and its culture. Some businesses prohibit employees from having personal work-related social media accounts, while some encourage it. Consider what the right position is for your business, discuss it with your employees who are active in social media, and document the decision in your social media policy.” And getting advice from a lawyer and insurance agent is good advice as well.
U.S. courts have expanded the definition of commercial speech, and the litigation over copyrights and trademarks is exploding. Many companies rely on their general liability insurance policies for advertising coverage. But these general liability policies are shrinking. It’s time to implement an organizational social media policy before risk arises.
Sign up today for Managing Your Company’s Social Media Exposures and Insurance Coverage Issues on this Thursday, May 19 at 1 p.m. Remember, it’s free for SIPA members!
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