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Seventh Law and Information Society Symposium

March 19, 2013

Privacy and Employment in the Digital Society

Privacy and Employment in the Digital Society

As social networking usage steadily increases and a new digital generation enters the workforce, employers are confronted with questions about how employees' personal use of new technology impacts business interests. However, monitoring, screening and regulating employee online behavior raises privacy and social concerns. This conference will examine the tensions and issues that arise in the employment context as a result of new technologies. Panels will explore both how the law should evolve to address the new issues and what the social and privacy implications are for the various options available.

Panel 1: Social Networking and the Hiring Process

This panel will explore how social networking has impacted the hiring process. The panel will consider how employers are using the Internet to screen applicants and what the legal and privacy implications of that screening are. Panel members will examine new state laws that have been enacted to limit pre-employment screening of social networking sites and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of such laws. They will also consider the social impact that pre-employment screening has on individual identity, particularly in light of the permanence of youthful online behavior.

Andrew E. Roth, Partner, SNR Denton


  • Patricia Sanchez Abril, Associate Professor, Business Law, University of Miami School of Business Administration
  • Geoffrey R. Andrews, Chief Operating Officer, Social Intelligence Corp.
  • Renee M. Jackson, Associate, Labor & Employment, Nixon Peabody LLP

Panel 2: Employee Online Activity and the Right to Monitor

This panel will examine the issues and questions that arise in the workplace from employee’s personal online activity that is increasing with the entry of the more “wired” generation into the workplace. The panel will explore tensions between individual development of an online persona and business interests implicated by employee Internet activity. Panelists will discuss why employers may want to monitor employee online activity and what legal restrictions may limit employer monitoring. Panelists will also consider the social and privacy impact of employer monitoring.

Christopher Wolf, Partner, Hogan Lovells LLP


  • Ariana R. Levinson, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
  • Alice E. Marwick, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University and Academic Affiliate of Fordham CLIP at Fordham Law School
  • Lafe Solomon, Acting General Counsel, National Labor Relations Board
  • Barbara M. Roth, Partner, Hogan Lovells LLP

Panel 3: Blending the Personal and the Professional on One Device

This panel will explore the privacy, security and legal implications that arise when employees use a single device for both personal and professional activities. Panelists will discuss the challenges that arise when employees use work computers for personal matters and the pros and cons of adopting a BYOD policy. They will consider the social and privacy implications of device use policies and discuss suggested guidelines that companies can follow to protect themselves and their employees.

William E. Min, Senior Vice President - Global Assurance & Chief Privacy Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.


  • Kimberly Hancher, Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Lewis Maltby, President, National Workrights Institute
  • Boris Segalis, Partner, InfoLawGroup LLP

Panel 4: Concerns for the Multinational Company

This panel will consider the issues that a multinational company must face in determining whether to engage in monitoring of employee online behavior or what policies will be in place regarding work devices. Panelists will explore variations in international law that impact corporate decisions in this area. They will also discuss how companies deal with cultural differences regarding expectations of privacy and freedom of speech.

Joel R. Reidenberg, Stanley D.
Nikki Waxberg Professor of Law, Founding Academic Director of Fordham CLIP, Fordham Law School


  • Avner Levin, Associate Professor, Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Sophie Nerbonne, Deputy Director – Legal, International & IT Affairs, Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertes (CNIL)
  • Robert Sprague, Associate Professor, University of Wyoming College of Business Management & Marketing
  • Miriam H. Wugmeister, Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Dr. Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid, Professor of Law, Ono Academic College, Israel, Visiting International Professor, Fordham Law School & Fellow, Yale Law School Information Society Project