Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week in Review

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope all of you out there are enjoying good food and even better company. But, in case you need a welcome distraction from intense family bonding (or Black Friday strategizing), here's what is new in the world of technology and the workplace:

In an EEOC sexual harassment suit against HoneyBaked Ham, Co., a district court judge has ruled that the plaintiffs must turn over their cellphones and social media passwords to a court-appointed forensic expert. This expert is charged with going through text messages and social media content to determine what is relevant -- and thus discoverable -- in the case. The defendant alleges such content includes highly relevant information on the lead plaintiff, such as her thoughts on how much money she is expecting from the suit, her self-described sexual aggressiveness, insights into her emotional state, and a picture of her wearing a shirt with a word the suit claims was offensively used against her.

Elsewhere around the country, a number of employees have been put on unpaid leave for inappropriate social media posts. In Kansas, a court research attorney was suspended for tweeting disparaging remarks about former Attorney General, Phill Kline, during his ethics hearing. In Massachusetts, a woman is facing a firestorm -- in addition to suspension -- for a Facebook picture she posted while on a work trip to Arlington National Cemetery. The picture is of her at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, standing next to a "Silence and Respect" sign, sticking up her middle finger and pretending to yell. While she claims she "meant no disrespect," over 20,000 people on Facebook have banned together to try to get her fired. Just one more reason to think twice before "expressing yourself" on Facebook (or Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace, or any other social media site).

Technology and the Workplace
Plaintiffs in EEOC Suit Must Turn Over Cellphones and Facebook Account Passwords, Judge Rules (ABA Journal) (NBC)
KS Court Staffer Suspended Over Kline Tweets (AP) (ABA Journal)
MA Woman Takes Photo at Arlington National Cemetery, Causes Fury on Facebook (Huffington Post)
Alliance Bernstein Can't Have Ex-Advisor's iPhone, Court Stays (Law 360)
Porn Now a "Global Phenomenon," Increasingly Fueled by People Watching at Work (Huffington Post)

Technology and the Law
Suit Contests Limits on Online Activities of Sex Offenders (NY Times)
Anonymous Declares "Cyberwar" on Israel (CNN)
Google Judge Accepts $22.5M FTC Privacy Settlement (Bloomberg)
BBC Sex Abuse Scandal: Can You Get Sued Over a Tweet? (CBS)
Reddit is Literally Writing Our Laws Now (Atlantic Wire)

There's an App for That
Dating Website Allows You to Screen Out the Republicans (Or Democrats) (Jezebel)
Get Instagram Prints from... Walgreens (NBC)
Mobile App Helps Soldiers Battle PTSD (FOX)
Customize Your Car Trip with Roadtrippers App (NBC)
Black Friday: 5 Apps to Maximize Deals, Stay Organized During Shopping Rush (ABC)

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