Andrea Matwyshyn Discusses Social Media Issues at Upcoming Eighth Annual JTIP Symposium

By TAP Staff Blogger

Posted on March 1, 2013


TAP scholar Andrea Matwyshyn joins the social media panel at next week’s Eighth Annual JTIP Symposium. The participants for the “Past, Present, and Future of Social Media” panel will discuss the diverse legal issues surrounding social media, both now and in the future. They are expected to touch on labor law, copyright, crisis management, the first amendment, authenticity, sports, and more.

Professor Matwyshyn has shared her expertise with a number of journals over the past year on social media topics. Here are a few:

Privacy, Please: This Is Only for the Two of Us (New York Times)

The article explores ‘Pair,’ a new mobile app that enables sharing of content between two people in a relationship, and how it addresses privacy needs.

"We’ve spent the last decade struggling with this,” said Andrea Matwyshyn, an assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Companies are trying to figure out the relationship of privacy to users while also trying to provide personalization and customization of their services.”

“People can’t always foresee or understand what could happen to their data,” Professor Matwyshyn said. “But they know they don’t want it ending up in the wrong hands."

Tech Job Seekers Less Likely to Be Asked for Social-media Passwords (Network World)

The article examines the practice of employers asking for the login information of job applicants’ social media accounts.

Overall, Matwyshyn says employers using social media to track and potentially vet candidates is a concerning practice. The industries it is most common in, Matwyshyn says, are highly regulated ones, such as financial services, government and public positions or in which security clearances may be needed. Another area she's seen increased traction of social media monitoring is in customer-facing jobs and marketing positions. "From an employer's perspective, if they are putting an individual in a client or public-facing position, the way that candidate represents him or herself online could be an indication of the tone, professionalism and demeanor the individual may bring to the professional setting," she says.

"In the past in real space, we've been able to carve out different identities for different contexts," she says. "In this online realm, when those different identities are all blended together and employers usurp the access to those identities, it can be an alarming trend for individuals."

Watch What You Type: Social Media a Tool for Revolutionaries, and Increasingly, for Security Agencies (Knowledge Wharton)

"Social media has great potential benefit," says Andrea M. Matwyshyn, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton Business School. "It has changed the dynamics of organization, such as the Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street movements. On the other hand, social media have complicated privacy protection. Service providers can locate any political dissident through a device or software."

"The new communication tools have transformed social movements and communication," Matwyshyn says. "Governments are training a digital army at an advanced level, to the same extent as the regular one. They confront a new type of organization which is often decentralized."

Andrea M. Matwyshyn is a law professor researching, teaching and consulting on technology law, commercial privacy, and corporate information security regulation. Currently, she is an assistant professor in the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department in the Wharton School and an affiliate of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Additional topics to be discussed at the Eighth Annual JTIP Symposium will be net neutrality and FRAND. The Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property (JTIP) and The Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth are sponsors of this event.