Social Media

The rapid evolution of social media has created legal challenges for companies.  Social media has the potential to impact almost every aspect of a business, from social media in the workplace and how marketing departments are using social networks, to privacy/security and identify theft, data practices, and intellectual property protection. Exposure of confidential company information, cyberbullying, harassment and employee privacy rights are all issues that companies have been forced to struggle with when addressing the use/misuse of social media by employees and management.

Drawing on legal experience in employment, litigation, trade secrets and non-competes, intellectual property, privacy and data security, advertising, promotions, and eDiscovery, Seyfarth’s interdisciplinary Social Media Practice Group works with companies to address the legal implications of social media in the workplace. We review how employees and companies are using social media, counsel on the risks of employee-generated content and help companies institute policies and best practices.

Our attorneys provide the following range of social media-related legal services:

  • Develop privacy policies and agreements for HR departments, cloud service providers and social media companies, including social media policies and procedures for clients doing business in the EU, Asia, Latin America and Canada.
  • Help clients manage where and how electronic information is stored and establish information governance programs that ensure compliance with discovery in litigation, data security and privacy obligations, as well as manage risks associated with the implementation of new technologies
  • Advise on the development and maintenance of corporate social media profiles and pages
  • Prepare and update mobile applications and consumer web site privacy policies, including terms of use and issues specific to apps distributed through third-party sites
  • Draft employee use policies that follow NLRB guidelines
  • Structure social media contests and sweepstakes, including Facebook and Twitter promotions and Internet contests
  • Implement and manage the privacy and security aspects of social media networks
  • Establish internal company policies and training programs designed to maintain the security of vital company information to avoid privacy glitches and security breaches and the costly litigation, fines, audits and loss of goodwill and/or trust that they can create
  • Monitor compliance with quickly changing and evolving privacy and security laws and regulations
  • Develop policies and best practices regarding social media use, discovery and data collection

We also have a great deal of experience in litigation involving social media privacy issues, such as obtaining information regarding anonymous/pseudonymous parties from Internet service providers, as well as building cases involving defamation, misappropriation, disparagement, and “spoofing” on websites, and litigate issues arising from computer and e-mail hacking.

A growing number of states have passed some form of social media privacy legislation.  Nearly all other state legislatures, as well as Congress, have considered (or are considering) some version of legislation affecting employee privacy and social media. Seyfarth’s Social Media Practice Group has prepared an easy-to-use “Social Media Privacy Legislation Desktop Reference” as a starting point to formulating guidance regarding social media privacy legislation. The Desktop Reference delivers a detailed state-by-state description of the various states’ new social media privacy laws, offers commentary on the implications of the legislation, and concludes with best practices to assist companies in navigating this challenging area.

Keeping abreast of the latest developments is one of our top priorities, we invite you to visit our ABA Top 100 award-winning blog, Trading Secrets, at www.tradesecretslaw.com for commentary and analysis on hot new topics in the world of social media law, trade secrets, privacy, non-competes, unfair competition and computer fraud.