Enjoy Social Media – you have the right to free expression of opinion and these channels are a great place to exercise that right! However, you should be aware of legal limitations. Specifically, you may not spread confidential information, and you may not undertake harm to Continental through your activities.
Confidential information includes, but is not limited to, information such as unpublished details about our software, customer and vendor information, future product ship dates, financial information, intellectual property, new product development, sales and marketing plans, trade secrets, copyrighted data, any other information required to be kept secret from competitors and the general public. Documents usually include a visible classification label, which states the category of the information. If a document on the information you want to share is not available, you have to classify the information yourself or together with your superior. You can find a more detailed description of the classifications a flyer provided by Corporate Security.
Any information posted in Social Media should be treated as public – that is why internal company matters should never be communicated in these channels, also not in closed groups.Whenever you make your business know-how available outside Continental (e.g. on Stackoverflow or in forums), always ensure that you maintain your obligation to confidentiality. In case of doubt you can ask your superior.
- Anti-trust law of course also applies to Social Media.
- Social networks (including business networks like LinkedIn) are not the appropriate place for exchanging business information. If you can’t meet in person, this should be done via e-mail or phone. Not only because of professional etiquette but sometimes also because of legal and contractual obligations.
- When sharing software code on non-company platforms like GitHub, e. g. for the purpose of collaborating with other developers, remove all sensitive data from the code fragments.
- Services like Google Docs and DropBox might be practical but they are not always safe, even if documents are login protected and only accessible on invitation. Company information or files may only be shared using the tools provided by Continental IT.
- Services like SlideShare can be used to publish public presentations to an external audience.
Continental presentations usually show in the footer whether the information is confidential, internal or public.
- Social Media networks are complex and might lead you into revealing information unintentionally. Please make sure that details of your business activities cannot be reconstructed from your Social Media actions. For example, adding a business contact on LinkedIn, tweeting from the location of your meeting, and later updating your Facebook status with a positive business message seem like unconnected actions. But in reality you are making information about a confidential business matter publicly available.
- Don’t share or show your employee number/ ID card / Continental badge in Social Media. This information could be useful for cyber criminals.
When in doubt, just ask! > firstname.lastname@example.org