Atlanta Privacy Policy Lawyer

Under Georgia law, you may be permitted to monitor your employees to ensure they are working and not wasting company time. You may also be able to collect data from customers through your website. However, employees and consumers expect some degree of privacy. It is important to understand the limits of your surveillance and whether you will need to post a privacy statement on your website or in your employee handbook.

Privacy rules differ under Georgia and federal laws. An Atlanta privacy policy lawyer could help you set guidelines for protecting your employees while allowing you to monitor their work. A skilled attorney at Sparks Law can also advise you on informing your website visitors about how you use their information.

Privacy in Atlanta Workplaces

Georgia applies the common law to privacy issues, whether in the workplace or not. The four violations of privacy include intrusion of seclusion, unreasonably disclosing private facts, publicly putting someone in a false light, and using someone’s name or likeness without permission. Business owners concerned about a suitable privacy policy should contact an experienced local attorney to discuss further.

Intrusion of Seclusion

For an employee to prevail in a tort action for intrusion of seclusion, the employer or another employee must intrude intentionally. The intrusion must be highly upsetting to the employee and offensive to any reasonable person. However, if company policy is to monitor an inter-office email system and an employee is writing personal emails, the company is not intruding if it catches the person in the act.

Businesses also may be able to monitor employees outside of work if their work is sensitive and the company would be compromised if it were leaked. For instance, a worker creating a formula for a new vaccine may be monitored outside of the workplace.

Unreasonably Disclosing Private Facts

Communicating something private about a person in a way that is offensive and unnecessary is an actionable claim for invasion of privacy. For instance, an employee who happens to see an email from another employee’s doctor and learns they are undergoing cancer treatment could face consequences for sharing this information with other employees.

False Light

False light occurs when someone maliciously communicates to others offensive or embarrassing information that places another person in an unfavorable light. For instance, using an employee’s photo in a company newsletter to illustrate an article on alcoholism could be considered false light.

Using a Person’s Name or Likeness

Permission must be granted to use a person’s name or likeness, particularly in advertising. For example, the courts would not permit an advertising company to use a celebrity’s image to promote a hometown product just because the superstar hailed from that place.

Website Privacy Policy

Businesses with websites that prompt visitors to enter personal information should post a privacy policy concerning how that information is shared with third parties and whether it is encrypted. Personal information includes anything that could help identify a person, such as their name, street address, and phone number.

Although an online privacy policy is usually (but not always) optional, online shoppers will continue to want to know their credit card information and other data is safe. An Atlanta lawyer at Sparks Law could draft a website privacy policy for your business to create trust with your customers.

Federal Privacy Laws

Some business websites are required to follow specific privacy rules under federal law. For instance, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) pertains to websites that attract children or collect information from children under twelve. These sites cannot share that information with third parties and must display a privacy policy.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act oversees financial institutions restricted in what information they can share. These sites must also display a detailed privacy policy. Similarly, online portals that share information between physicians and patients are governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which states that privacy policies must be posted in the physician’s office and online.

Retain an Atlanta Privacy Policy Lawyer

Many employees use computers daily, and consumers often use business websites to browse or buy from companies. As a business owner, you need to take steps to protect your employees’ and customers’ privacy. However, this area of law can be complex and difficult to navigate without dedicated legal assistance. Call for a consultation with an Atlanta privacy policy lawyer at Sparks Law and let us handle your business needs.