Stories by Richard C. Darwin and Erin Welsh

When trade secrets meet Facebook

Social networking sites are changing the way people interact, socially and professionally. Sites like <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9157638/Facebook_Complete_coverage">Facebook</a> and LinkedIn let people establish relationships and store information on their contacts. When effectively used and managed, these sites can significantly increase the productivity of salespeople and other revenue-generating employees. But the use of these social networking sites by employees to manage their business contacts can also have implications when those employees leave to join a competitor. Client lists and customer databases are frequently alleged to be trade secrets. If an employee has used a client list to build a network of links and/or contacts on <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9118182/Facebook_LinkedIn_gain_traction_at_work">Facebook or LinkedIn</a> , does that list lose its <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/print/9140694/A_Practical_Approach_to_Protecting_Trade_Secrets">trade secret</a> status?

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