March 19, 2012
Partner John J. Heitmann was quoted in the article, "Defining Privacy More Difficult in Age of Mobile Devices," which appeared in both the Bloomberg BNA Human Resources Report and the Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Law Report. The article recaps Mr. Heitmann's recent presentation, "Take Two: Employees, Smart Phones and Social Media: Best Practices for Mobile Computing and Social Media Policies," at the 2012 International Association of Privacy Professional's Global Privacy Summit. The presentation focused on privacy in workplaces, specifically in regards to employee's mobile devices and social media use.
Mr. Heitmann noted that astute employers have a clear, comprehensive, and up-to-date mobile device and social media policy. With a good policy, he said that "you'll find it will lead to happier employees and employers. Employees like knowing the rules of the road, and generally if they are notified, they will accept them." He mentioned that it is imperative that employees' consent is current; he recommends getting it at least every six months and whenever there are any changes.
Mr. Heitmann also discussed newer risks related to location-based services. He pointed out that there are now many chances for employers to inappropriately discover where an employee is at any given time. He said, "I'll say it at least another six times: 'Don't monitor employees unless you have a legitimate business reason.'"