Archive for December, 2009

Internal Investigations: Think before you Peek

Posted by fgilbert on December 4th, 2009

The directors and officers of a company are responsible for preserving the company’s most valuable assets, such as strategic plans or intellectual property assets. When leaks of company confidential or proprietary assets occur, and there is a suspicion of illegal practices by certain individuals, the company management has an obligation and a legitimate need to make these practices stop. To do so, it is necessary to identify those who are responsible for the leakage of information.

These investigations present a delicate challenge. It might be tempting to try to obtain access to an employee’s personal telephone records, in order to identify the source of the leak or the recipient of the leaked information. Don’t do it!

Think before to you try to peek at your employees’ personal telephone records. This practice is prohibited by the Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act (“TRPPA”).

TRPPA targets the practice known as “pretexting,” where someone calls a company impersonating a customer and attempts to secure personal records of the customer without the customer’s knowledge or permission. The law focuses on pretexting to obtain phone records. It provides criminal penalties for those who attempt to fraudulently obtain confidential telephone records or to sell or purchase such records.

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