Well-Crafted Internal Policies Can Mitigate Social Media Risks

March 31, 2014 – In The News
Business Insurance

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the Business Insurance article, "Well-Crafted Internal Policies Can Mitigate Social Media Risks." Full text can be found in the March 31, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is noted below.

Employees’ use of social media can be dangerous for organizations regardless of whether it is connected to the company’s operations, if it is left unmanaged.

According to attorneys, these risks have made internal corporate policies governing employee use of social media an essential part of risk management.

“As you think about social media, you want to think through the risks that are attendant to using very powerful tools, and then develop a set of common-sense policies that are easy to understand and that ultimately will at least limit your exposure as an organization,” said Scott L. Vernick, a noted privacy attorney.

Disputes with current and former employees over legal ownership of social media identities and content will also likely be easier to diffuse if the company policy clearly states the circumstances under which those materials are considered property of the organization.

“As a general rule, if social media is being used in connection with the company’s business functions, it probably belongs to the company itself,” Vernick said. “But we’ve seen some litigation on this issue, particularly where a company’s social media presence and an employee’s personal brand are mixed together.”