Friday, August 12, 2011

Technology, Law and the Workplace: Week in Review (The Invisibility Edition)

A recent survey suggests that a great many companies are using social media to screen potential hires.  In many ways this seems like a modern no-brainer.  Social media sites provide easily accessible insights into the personal and professional lives of people we don't know in ways that would have seemed unimaginable only a short time ago.  Of course, as discussed in some of our previous blog posts, there are legal risks in using social media to screen applicants and in making employment decisions.  Are you accessing data that you're prohibited from using in your decision-making process, such as the applicant's gender, race, or national origin?   Is that online work history on LinkedIn accurate?  Exaggerated?  Just plain false?  Also, is it wise to make hiring decisions based on an employer's impressions of a potential hire's Facebook page?  Other legal risks are discussed in previous blog posts (4/14/2011; 3/31/3011; 3/9/20011; 3/4/2011) about the use of technology in the hiring process and with respect to current employees.

Another question: How would an employer assess an employee who is invisible on the web?   In Europe, citizens are demanding the right to control, or remove, information about themselves on the Internet. A court case in Spain involves ninety plaintiffs who have demanded that Google stop indexing information about them.  The European Union may adopt "right to be forgotten" regulations as early as this fall.  If companies expect to gather information about potential employees via the web and social media, will they be less or more likely to hire those who opt out of the digital realm?  This blog post from the Harvard Business Review suggests a clear answer to that question.

Technology in the Workplace
Technology and Law More Generally

  •  California Bans Jurors from Utilizing Social Media to Discuss their Cases (Shear on Social Media)
  • Apple Wins Order Against Samsung Tablet in EU (Bloomberg)
  • Gizmodo Officially not Being Charged in iPhone 4 Case (Gizmodo)
  • Europe Takes its Own Path on Internet Privacy (NY Times)
Technology This Week
  • Blackberry's Fall from Executive Suite to London Looters may Bruise Brand (Bloomberg)
  • $2 Erasable E-paper Aims to Replace Paper (
  • AOL Posts Loss, Citing Weak Gain in Ad Sales (NY Times)
  • Would You Like Some Solar with That?  Ford to Sell Panels Along with the Electric Focus (Fast Company)
  • Bing Keeps Chipping Away at Google's Market Share (Business Insider)
Compiled and contributed by Scott Raver

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