Social contacts belong to employers

An English court has ruled that an employee’s business contacts on LinkedIn belong to the employer. This opens up several critical debates on the ownership of electronic social content and electronic social relationships. Do contacts on less ‘professional’ networks, such as FaceBook and Twitter, also belong to employers? How to differentiate between contacts made prior to the employment? There are also implications towards use of social networking sites– perhaps this ruling will lead to a fragmentation of an individual’s social profiles into several ‘temporary’, employer specific profiles and a ‘permanent’ personal profile?

Image via Wikipedia

Now, a court in England has issued an order that requires an employee who resigned to start his own consulting business to turn over all of his LinkedIn contacts to his former employer – along with receipts and contracts proving that none of them became clients of his new firm.

Read more at Who Owns Your LinkedIn Contacts? – Forbes.

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