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The Modern Workplace

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This Week in Review illustrates the Wild West that is the world of technology.  Several stories from this week discuss events no one could have imagined ten years ago, including arrests of the members of the LulzSec hacking group, a looming FTC antitrust probe of Google for its dominance of the internet search market, and, of course, another take on the Rep. Anthony Weiner scandal.

In the midst of these developments, a story about the recent anniversary of the Listserv caught my attention.  Listserv, the first automatic email delivery software, just celebrated its 25th year.  In many ways ...

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Data security breaches have been in and out of the headlines recently, and the Citigroup breach has once again brought the topic to the forefront.  This week, Citi announced that more customers than originally announced had information stolen by hackers.  All told, Citi reports that approximately 360,000 customer accounts were compromised.  Even more troubling, Citigroup does not even know how the computer breach occurred, only that it affected hundreds of thousands of its credit card customers by revealing names, account numbers, and contact information.

Although Citigroup may ...

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This week, Facebook once again stirred controversy with its recent changes to its privacy policy. Once again pushing the boundaries of online privacy, Facebook now automatically opts users into facial-recognition technology. The technology compares pictures posted on Facebook to a central repository of identified photos, and then asks friends of the person it recognizes to "tag" the user in the photo.

So what does this development mean for employers? In the short term, more information. Users who have not opted out of the technology may find themselves identified and tagged by ...

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The recent attention given to Apples announcement of its iCloud internet-based online storage service is yet another indicator of the growing popularity of cloud computing, or using online data storage for files that can be accessed and managed anywhere using an internet connection. Instead of saving your files and data to your own device, you save them in a cloud, or web-based file cabinet. Google has offered this service to consumers since 2005 with its Google docs service. Now Apple is joining in, offering a free service that will basically allow users to mirror their iTunes ...

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Although this work week was shortened by the Memorial Day holiday, there were plenty of stories in the world of technology, law, and the workplace.  Maybe it's because I just (finally) saw The Social Network, but the news about San Francisco start-up Hipster's unique search for employees stood out to me. Hipster, looking for engineers, has taken to the web with a hilarious (though somewhat concerning) pitch:  they are offering $10,000, a year's supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and an assortment of hilarious "hipster" accessories, such as a fixed gear bicycle, skinny jeans, and even ...

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The subject of employees' email privacy comes up a lot, both in this blog and in employment law and litigation generally.  Last week's Week in Review, for example, cited a federal court judge's decision that an executive's emails, sent to his wife from his work computer,  were not protected or privileged, and could be used as evidence in a securities fraud case.  Evidence gleaned from emails shows up in many, if not most, harassment cases, and emails are a common source of evidence about the legitimacy of an employer's "non-discriminatory business reason" for an adverse personnel ...
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