Court Says It’s OK To ‘Google’ Your Employees

Steve Bryant at Google Watch reports that a court has ruled it is OK to ‘Google’ your employees.

The case goes back to the firing of David M. Mullins from the U.S. Commerce Department for “misusing a government vehicle and credit card and falsifying travel documents,” says CSO. Mullins claimed, in an appeal, his right to fairness was violated by his employer using Google to learn that he was also fired from the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Air Force.

Three federal judges explained that Mullins was dismissed not because of information found in the Google searches but because of other information.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Legal | Legal: Privacy

Sponsored


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    This whole thing has been blown out of proportion by the blogging community. Computerworld appears to have broken the story and their headline only stated “Court: Googling an employee’s name is not a federal case”.

    The actual decision (http://fedcir.gov/opinions/06-3284.pdf) in no way makes any declarations about whether it’s legal for an employer to search on an employee’s name.

    The point in contention was whether Mullins was fired because his supervisor had learned (stipulated as being through Google) that he had been fired from two previous positions.

    The judges only upheld the employer’s point of view, that the decision to fire him had already been reached before they search on his name — and that therefore he was not denied due process or treated unfairly under the principle of “ex-parte communications”.

    The judges simply did not address the question of whether an employer has a right to search on employee names.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide