Confidentiality & your employee’s LinkedIn contacts: Lessons from a recent case

Posted on 11-17-2014 by
Tags: social media , social business , Latest Headlines & Stories

Technology continues to consume a great deal of our everyday lives, and businesses have become increasingly more involved in obtaining customer information via social platforms, specifically LinkedIn. However, the nature of LinkedIn customer information and employees seeking this information out (on behalf of the company) may not be so black and white. According to a recent article by Littler, the author Dylan W. Wiseman examined the case Cellular Accessories for Less, Inc. v. Trintitas LLC.
As a bit of background for those who may not be aware, this case revolved around an ex-employee who left the company Cellular Accessories for Less to work for the competition taking along with him, all of the LinkedIn contacts he acquired while employed at Cellular Accessories for Less.
The LinkedIn contacts survived as a summary judgment in the fact that they were confidential and trade secret. Wiseman outlines 4 key takeaways from this case:
1. Employers should treat customer contact information housed in an employee’s LinkedIn account as confidential.
2. Employees should be instructed to modify the privacy settings for their LinkedIn accounts so that the identities of contacts are not disclosed publicly
3.  Employers should consider reviewing their existing confidentiality agreements to determine whether the protections are sufficient to protect customer and customer contact information housed in employee LinkedIn accounts. 
4. Employers should consider the feasibility of requiring that employees contact existing customers through a company-owned LinkedIn account.
What do you think? Does the punishment fit the crime?
To get more details you can read the entire article here.

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