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Where do your rights stop and your employer's rights start when it comes to Internet privacy? We'll explore privacy in the Digital Age on Smart Talk, Thursday night at 8 on witf TV. Join the conversation by calling 1-800-729-7532, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, post a comment below this article or on witf's Facebook page.
Some of our best segments begin with a suggestion from a viewer. Linda Burkley, APR, teaches public relations and corporate communication as an adjunct faculty member at Susquehanna University. She wrote to me last month and suggested a segment on the subject of privacy rights in the realm of social media. A recent outcry about employers seeking job candidates' and workers' Facebook passwords makes this an especially timely topic for our show. Maryland is poised to become the first state to ban employers from seeking their workers' passwords for social media. And two U.S. senators have asked for a federal investigation of the issues raised about online privacy in the workplace.
"I have spent the last two weeks discussing privacy issues with my students and how, as communicators, we need to completely understand our role and our rights when using any number of social media applications," Linda wrote. "Further, we've discussed what rights employers have in using our words, tweets and posts against us or in legal cases that involve other employees or the company itself.
"There are a startling number of legal cases involving social media, but the bigger discussion is how little the average person really understands about what they can and cannot do at work and how little privacy we really have. While tablets, laptops and smartphones are integral to many of our professional communication, the same devices are also integral to attorneys during the discovery phase of an investigation. Most average employees don't understand the power of digital communication and that their computers and other devices may already be monitored by their employers."
So, before you unleash the latest diatribe about your boss, coworkers or workload on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, tune into Smart Talk, Thursday night at 8 as our panel uncovers what you can and cannot say or write online about your job and personal life.
Linda Burkley will share her insights, as well as Steven M. Williams, managing partner of Cohen, Seglias, Pallas, Greenhall & Furman's Harrisburg office, and a member of the firm's commercial litigation group. Bill Irwin, a strategic partner at The Wallace Group, has spent three decades helping companies manage human-resources issues. He'll weigh in on the workplace-privacy questions raised through social media. And we invite all of you to comment before, during or after the show. Join the conversation!
Published in Smart Talk
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