Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who Really Owns Your Linkedin/Facebook/Twitter Account?

You or your employer (or ex-employer)? You might be surprised that your social media accounts may not belong to you. Learn what you can do to protect your rollodex and contacts ...

Recruitingblogs.com featured a great article a few weeks ago called “Who Owns Your LinkedIn Profile? What EVERYONE Needs To Know” that discussed whether employees or employers owned social media accounts. It’s still unclear, but there are a number of things you can do today to protect your time and information investment in social networks.

( Continued ... How To Protect Your Network )

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Best Job Search Tools On Linkedin 2010
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Anonymous said...

As a cybersecurity/privacy guy with over ten years at the world’s largest ISP I am pretty familiar with this issue. First of all I cannot imagine any circumstance in which an employer, past or present “owns” your social media data. There are academic arguments over whether consumers own the data or the terms of service for LinkedIn/Facebook/etc. give them ownership. I practice “practical” cybersecurity/privacy. From a practical perspective the owner is whoever has the user name/password or access to the e-mail address associated with the account to reset the password.

I agree with your statement about ensuring that people use their personal e-mail addresses with LinkedIn/Facebook. This is key! Do remember that in Facebook’s early days you had to have a corporate or educational e-mail address AND you were limited to interfacing with those in your same e-mail domain.

Re stories about account hacks, I am a LinkedIn advisor for a non-profit career counseling group. One of my clients told me about a salesperson who was a friend of hers. She had hundreds of LinkedIn friends who were also her customers. Her LinkedIn account was connected with her corporate address. When she left her company, her former boss –performed a LinkedIn password account and got access to her account. The boss then downloaded her contact list which included customers. Next he deleted all of her contacts.

Legally you could probably make the case that the boss was entitled to the customer contacts but whether accessing the account under false pretenses is legal under LinkedIn’s terms of service is another issue. Deleting her contacts could be illegal, perhaps restraint of trade but it is an expensive lawsuit.

Mark Goldstein

Expert at Protecting Customer Data and Corporate Reputations by Operationalizing Cybersecurity & Privacy
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markhgoldstein
Privacy/Security on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PrivateSecure

Phil Rosenberg said...

@Mark - Thanks for sharing you insight.