Actionable Intelligence and Public Act 15-6
On May 19, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute restricting an employer’s ability to gain access to social media, e-mail and other personal online accounts of employees and job applicants. Connecticut is the twentieth state to enact such legislation. Connecticut’s law generally is in line with similar state laws, having no outlier provisions that could pose a particular compliance challenge for multi-state employers.
Connecticut Public Act 15-6 does not have an impact on accessing publicly available information and converting it into actionable intelligence.
We are this point in time on the cutting edge of social media risk regulations, laws, and best practices. The best analogy? If someone writes a message on the side of a building with can of spray paint, anyone can see it and act on it. If someone posts a message on a public site or sends a post to someone who publicly posts the message or uses a company provided device to do so, the company/school is allowed to listen and look at it and use the information as needed.
First, we do not ask for or require personal passwords. We are looking at publicly available information.
Second, the Act does allow for investigation by an employer: “The Act contains several significant exceptions to the general prohibition. Most importantly for employers, the Act, like many similar laws in other states, contains a relatively broad exception for workplace investigations. That exception applies to investigations conducted by employers to ensure compliance with state or federal laws, regulatory requirements, or prohibitions against work-related employee misconduct. Such an investigation must be based on the employer’s “receipt of specific information about activity on an employee or applicant’s personal online account.” (George O’Brien and Philip L. Gordon on May 27, 2015 www.litter.com)
Third, If the company provides or pays for the device (phone, tablet, computer, or laptop), they are allowed to see anything accessed by the device.
Fourth, if the employer is in a regulated industry (for example, stock broker, etc.), they have a responsibility to monitor.
One of the top 3 failures in a disaster or crisis is the failure to identify and monitor all threats and risks. Social media provides the most cost-effective approach to monitoring risk. Until now, this approach was not previously available to employers at a reasonable cost and useable format.
I would rather address why I learned an employee was bringing a gun to work than explain why I did not prevent it. The Firestorm® Predict.Plan.Perform.® process places clients in a position to assure a safe workplace, safeguard their employees, and protect their brand. Crisis Management and Consequence Management is not just reactive; it must be predictive. Today, an Intelligence Network is best practice.