Here is a thoughtful article from an a trade secret lawyer, a partner in a law firm about how to proceed in utilizing social networking without jeopardizing the company’s trade secrets. Ms. Edelson rightly promotes the importance of employee training in social networking to insure they won’t be negligent in their use of social networking. She also makes an important point that use of restrictive privacy settings doesn’t necessarily provide trade secret protection.
Industry, Culture, Industry, Culture
However, I don’t think its possible to discuss “trade secrets” without considering the culture and industry of a specific business. An online retailer is dealing with a vastly different market than a company that sells paper supplies to government entities. And I think Ms. Edelson’s perspective is much more suited to the latter than the former. If a business isn’t able to communicate effectively and thereby sell effectively to a tech-savvy clientele, then the protection of its trade secrets takes a back seat to generating revenue and turning a profit. I’m not a trade secret expert and Ms. Edelson’s suggestions seem appropriate and helpful but I do think when writing for “businesses” its important to understand you are talking to a wildly varied audience.