Does your employer view your social media profiles?

Following our previous post on what businesses need to think about in relation to their employees’ use of social media.

Here are a couple of questions you, as an employee should know the answers to in 2014:

Can my employer or a potential employers use my social media profiles to gain information about me?

Simply put, yes.

However this information can only be used or processed (stored) under strict compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 and various European conventions on rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

As with many things surrounding social media, the above can be subject to an individual’s interpretation. You should take great care when posting anything onto a social media site.

This information is entering a public domain (even if you have privacy settings controlling who can see your profile, you can’t control who your friends pass the information to). As such it is no longer private or covered under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights regarding privacy.

If I use my own device at work, is any information stored on it mine?

It is often impractical, when using your own device for work to ensure that all information gathered and stored during one period of employment should be deleted from your device once a new role is started.

This can particularly apply to those entering into short-term contracts, freelance workers or those contracted to do a role.

In one case law, a decision was passed down that for a contracted worker the relationship between employer and employee meant information held by the employee should be handed over to the company after the contract was completed.

Therefore, it is recommended to your employers that in any contracts, provisions should be written in to allow them to access any communication, contacts or stored information relating to the contract prior to completion.

Employees or contract workers should offer to provide copies of such records at the end of each employment too.

What do you think?

What do you think about companies viewing your social media profiles…and will this change the way you use social media in the future?

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