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06. Social Media and Data Privacy in Philippines
Employment Law Overview Philippines

06. Social Media and Data Privacy in Philippines

Restrictions in the Workplace

It is a valid exercise of management prerogative for employers to limit or prohibit acces to social media at work. Management prerogative includes the right to prescribe reasonable rules and regulations necessary or proper for the conduct of the employer’s business.

Can the employer monitor, access, review the employee’s electronic communications?

The employer can monitor, access, and review the employee’s electronic communications in a company-issued device, subject to the employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Philippine jurisprudence consistently holds that the reasonableness of a person’s expectation of privacy depends on a two-part test: (1) whether by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an expectation of privacy; and (2) whether this expectation is one that society recognizes as reasonable. It is common practice for employers to expressly and categorically stipulate that company-owned devices are subject to company regulations and monitoring, thereby negating any expectation of privacy on the part of the employee.

However, if it is a personal device owned by the employee, the general rules of data privacy apply; thus, the employer cannot monitor, access, or review the employee’s electronic communications without the employee’s consent or any legal basis therefore.

Employee’s Use of Social Media to Disparage the Employer or Divulge Confidential Information

Social media use by employees must be within the limits of the contractual agreement with their employer. Most employment agreements would contain confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses, which employers may enforce against employees who are divulging confidential information via their social media.

Any questions

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