Social Media Privacy Case Study

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Social media is used as a source of information on individuals as well as organisations. As a result, it is becoming increasingly common for company’s Human Resources department to assess the Facebook page and other social networking sites of both existing employees as well as job candidates so as to assist them in their employment practices. For that reason, employees and job candidates have to be cautious of the kind of content and information which they decide to post on their social network pages. This is because nowadays employers or future employers are able to make use of the anonymity of online personas with the aim of gathering private details or monitoring the private life of the staffs or job candidates on the social networking…show more content…
Therefore, corporations in particular industries, specifically medical and health care, need to make sure that their staffs do not infringe certain privacy laws similar to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (‘HIPAA’) when they are using social media. In other words, a nurse’s obligation is to guard the private information regarding the patients, unless it is required by the law to release the information. Hence, failure to guard the patients’ information will lead to substantial consequences. A case in point is that two nurses in Wisconsin, United States were fired as they apparently each used their mobile phones to take photographs of a patient’s X-ray, with one of them posted the photo on her Facebook page. The case has been referred to the FBI for possible infringements of HIPAA. In addition, even seemingly harmless details can possibly be used to the disadvantage of the person who publishes it on the Internet. To illustrate this argument, an insurance corporation known as Manulife took advantage of the vacation photos that were shared on the Internet through Facebook being part of its investigation of an insured lady which resulted in her long term sick leave benefits being discontinued where she received on account of alleged…show more content…
That information could be well applicable in the context of trial, and the individuals of a trial can pursue to gain this information by way of finding or subpoena. However, the issue is whether gaining this information for use in court is permitted in terms of potential privacy concerns. A Canadian Court has affirmatively resolved this issue where it was held that profiles on social networking sites can be discovered under Canada’s Rules of Civil Procedure in civil suits. In the case of Leduc v Roman, the court in Ontario permitted the finding of a person’s profile on Facebook during pre-trial in an auto negligence lawsuit. It was applicable that the information from the plaintiff’s profile being pursued by the defendant as according to the issue of whether the plaintiff’s ability to participate in his usual activities had been impacted by the accident. It was further stated by the court that the plaintiff’s profile information can be discovered as it was information and data in electronic form, thus the plaintiff’s privacy settings were irrelevant. As a general rule, whichever postings on the Internet would be deemed equivalent to text messages or e-mails, thus the information is discoverable and can result in
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