Social Media and Workers' Compensation Claims
Twitter's Instability and China's Data Harvesting
Social networking’s popularity has become a two-edged sword as a tool in the management, investigation, and disposition of workers’ compensation claims. Over the last several years, there has been an exponential explosion in the use of this technology on the Internet.
THE PRIVACY CHALLENGES FOR STAKEHOLDERS
The challenges to properly access and effectively utilize electronically stored information [ESI] result in procedural and ethical ramifications for the workers’ compensation community.
Injured workers should consult their attorneys and review what information is being shared on the Internet. See, MATTER OF GIGLIA v. SUNY BUFFALO-UNION, 2022 NY Slip Op 2603 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 2022, MATTER OF CONLIFFE v. Darden Restaurant, 187 AD 3d 1398 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 2020, WALMART, INC. v. Ohler, La: Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit 2019 , MATTER OF PAPADAKIS v. Fresh Meadow Power NE LLC, 167 AD 3d 1286 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 2018 , MATTER OF NIKAC v. JOAL RESTAURANT CORP., 187 AD 3d 1280 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 2020, Nero v. Allied Waste Services, 265 So. 3d 1129 - La: Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit 2019 .
Employers and insurance companies should consult their attorneys to determine what activities are legally and ethically appropriate when utilizing social media.
Even the judiciary is subject to ethical considerations when utilizing social media.
Technology continues to evolve. Moore’s Law (Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles every two years. Moore's law is an observation and projection of a historical trend. Rather than a law of physics, it is an empirical relationship linked to gains from experience in production.) The rapid development of transitory technology is being replaced by the rapid development of silicone microchip production.
Stored data is now expanding through Cloud Computing and using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
INSTABILITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
The platforms used for social media are also changing. The “instability” of Twitter because of its purchase and changes implemented by Elon Musk may make it less reliable. The Chinese ownership of TikTok is also raising concerns over data acquisition by foreign states, ie. China. The reliability and manipulation of social media data will be a concern in the future.
“Facebook Becomes a Questionable Friend of Workers Compensation,” By Jon L. Gelman, download link available below.
PODCAST: Jon L. Gelman and Alan S. Pierce discuss this topic on Legal Talk Network, List at http://legaltalknetwork.com/podcasts/workers-comp-matters/2011/04/privacy-clients-and-social-media/. Click here to Download the audio file.
Employer Permitted to Use Facebook Photos to Challenge Injured Workers Claims Without Prior NoticeAn employer was permitted to utilize photographs taken from Claimant's public Facebook as impeachment evidence without prior notice to Claimant.
Chinese Hackers Pursue Key Data on U.S. WorkersThe meaning of confidentiality appears to be strained daily by reports in the media that digital information is either made public by hacking and/or government access. Workers' Compensation by law in most jurisdiction has been built on a theoretical foundation of privacy and confidentiality.
Facebook Required to Turn Over User Information in Disability-Fraud InvestigationThe Manhattan district attorney has won a legal battle against Facebook Inc. with a New York judge's ruling that the social network was required to turn over user information in a fraud investigation.
Judge Disqualified over Facebook ‘Friend’ RequestLast week, an appellate court kicked the judge off the case and assigned the matter to a different judge, concluding that the wife had a “well-founded fear of not receiving a fair and impartial trial.”
ARE YOU OVEREXPOSING YOURSELF IN SOCIAL MEDIA? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and other wildly popular social media websites have transformed how people both connect with each other and obtain information about other people. It has also created a change in the legal arena
Social Media Passwords Off Limits to EmployersNJ Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that prohibits requirement to disclose user name, password, or other means for accessing account or service through electronic communications device by employers.
TikTok won't commit to stopping US data flows to China - CNN TikTok repeatedly declined to commit to US lawmakers on Wednesday that the short-form video app will cut off flows of US user data to China, instead promising that the outcome of its negotiations with the US government “will satisfy all national security concerns.”
Ethical Risks in Judicial Use of Social MediaIn the polarized political climate that has characterized the United States in recent years, it is hardly surprising that some judges have given in to the temptation to venture onto social media to weigh in on political issues and controversies.
To Post or Not To Post: Judges’ Social Media PredicamentJudges are meant to be unbiased and unaffected by outside influences, exposing their every tweet and Facebook post to scrutiny.
The Troubles of the Social JudgeAt the end of 2015, two states became the first jurisdictions to add explicit references to social media to their codes of judicial conduct.