The Social Media Complex
Over the last several years, two things have become quite obvious in the eDiscovery industry: electronic data is becoming increasingly larger and progressively more complex. Several years ago we saw Sharepoint and wikis jump onto the scene and confuse a lot of eDiscovery practitioners with their introduction. Today we're seeing another type of technology factor into play that has become more difficult for organizations to address due to legal and regulatory requirements. This technology is most commonly referred to as social media and can come in many forms including Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and LinkedIn messages. The difficulty is that while email generally looks like email, social media can look like many things and thus pose problems for corporations interested in protecting their intellectual property, trade secrets and competitive information.
The September issue of Inside Counsel reported a poll that the Labor & Employment section at Proskauer Rose recently conducted to assess the social media policies of various organizations. Here are the results:
76% CLAIMED TO USE SOCIA MEDIA FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES
45% SAID THEY DON"T HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES IN PLACE
43% REPORTED EMPLOYEE MISUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
29% BLOCK EMPLOYEE ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
One can only conclude from these statistics that organizations without current social media policies in place will need to develop the necessary regulatory requirements for not only the protection of their intellectual property but also for the best interest of their employees.