Antitrust, UCL and Privacy

Competition: Fall 2019, Vol 29, No. 2

SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY LEGISLATION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES ALIKE

By Robert B. Milligan, Daniel P. Hart and Sierra Chinn-Liu1

I. INTRODUCTION

According to the Pew Research Center, approximately seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves.2 YouTube and Facebook are the most widely used online platforms: these two platforms, respectively, are visited by 73% and 69% of Americans every day.3 Sites and applications such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and SnapChat also garner substantial daily use.4

Social media clearly influences and permeates our daily lives—and the workplace is no exception. Companies frequently conduct business via social platforms, and employees often use social media on the job for both personal and work-related reasons.5 The pervasive use of social media, however, creates a tension between the rights of employees to personal privacy on the one hand, and the needs of companies on the other, to protect corporate intellectual property, comply with regulatory reporting requirements, guard against cyber threats, and maintain appropriate systems and data management practices.

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