September 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm #179958
From Inside Privacy’s blog:
Federal Court Finds Stored Communications Act Applies to Facebook Wall Posts
A New Jersey federal court recently held that an employee’s Facebook wall posts were protected by the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq., in one of the first cases to analyze the SCA’s application to the Facebook wall. Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp.., No. 2:11-cv-3305 (WMJ) (D.N.J. Aug. 20, 2013). An important factor in the court’s ruling was the fact that the employee had configured her privacy settings to restrict her posts to her Facebook “friends.”
The court found that the employer had not violated the SCA by viewing the employee’s wall, however, because a co-worker, who was one of her Facebook friends, showed the post to their employer without any prior prompting by the employer.
This ruling provides further reason for employers to avoid unauthorized access to an employee’s social media activities. The court’s holding is consistent with the passage by 11 states of laws prohibiting employers from demanding social media passwords from employees. But employers that learn of social media activity by employees through passive means may still be able to take action based on that information.
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