Industry News

Law firm highlights social media and data protection hazards

18 February 2013
A briefing from a global law firm has drawn attention to potential hazards solicitors face when using social media for marketing and recruitment.

Taylor Wessing’s analysis of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) as it pertains to social media, published in The Lawyer, is a reminder that legal practices need to keep abreast of legislation and implement strategies for compliance and best practice.

There are eight key principles of data protection under the act, plus related conditions and exemption rules. Taylor Wessing points out that the act regarding recruitment should be considered for compliance at each stage, from the drawing up of a job specification or advert, to soliciting applications via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“If used with traditional recruitment tools, these [social media] sites can help employers reach a wider audience. It is, however, important that employers remain mindful of their DPA obligations regardless of the recruitment tool being used,” stated the briefing.

Stephen Carris, Legal Education and Training Associate at LBS Legal, said: “Briefings such as this serve as a reminder that data protection is an absolute minefield.

“We wholeheartedly back Taylor Wessings’ advice that employee data protection training is essential because it reduces the risk of law firms leaving themselves vulnerable to falling foul of the act.”

In other related news concerning data protection, it has been reported that police officers and staff in each of the four Welsh forces broke the DPA 62 times over a two year period. Freedom of information requests by BBC Wales revealed the breaches, which resulted in a number of sackings, resignations and final warnings.

Ian Braithwaite
Client Relationship Manager

T: 0113 385 4483
M: 07432 695 289
E: ian.braithwaite@lbslegal.co.uk

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