Are Social Networking Contacts Trade Secrets?

Law360, New York (December 11, 2012, 12:48 PM EST) -- Use of social media by businesses has not only increased exponentially in the past few years, but is now a ubiquitous tool in marketing strategy. From your local food truck to national insurance companies, businesses make use of online accounts such as Twitter and LinkedIn to gain customers and maintain market advantage.

But who owns these social media profiles and contacts, and are they viable trade secrets? Legal instinct and traditional trade secret law may lead one to think that because social networking profiles and contacts are generally known to the public, they cannot possibly be trade secrets. The answer, however,...

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