The short answer is no ’â€œ at least under certain circumstances. Out-Law.com recently featured leading intellectual property lawyer Catrin Turner who had the following to say on the matter’
“If a social networking site is used to hold any information which relates to your employment, if that information is prepared in the course of your employment you are dealing with company property,” said Turner.
“If [the employer] can argue that you have created something and it’s in the course of your employment, it’s irrelevant where it’s stored because the law doesn’t look at where it’s stored, the law looks at the circumstances in which it was created,” she said. “If you create a contact list or any sort of document during working hours using your work PC that relates in some way to your job or is of value to your employer they would have a very strong argument that that belongs to them.”
The article references that case of Junior Isles vs. PennWell Publishing where precedence was seemingly set for an employer to claim ’ownership’ over content produced by employees during working hours.
If in fact this is the case, we now have even greater reason for enterprises to adopt private internal social networks and leave Facebook to employees’ free time.