Combating the Enemy Within: Regulating Employee Misappropriation of Business Information
Technological advancements vastly improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace. However, technology also brings with it the ability to transmit mass amounts of business information with ease. As technology continues to evolve and become increasingly prevalent in the modern workplace, the insider presents a considerable threat to employers. In fact, employers increasingly face disgruntled employees who are all too eager to download their employers’ sensitive, confidential, and proprietary information before terminating the employment relationship. However, the digital age, a global economy, and a highly mobile workforce have rendered the law utterly unreliable in addressing employee misappropriation. In enacting the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) in 2016, Congress sought to provide clear rules and predictability for everyone involved. Yet, the DTSA has already proven inadequate in creating any reliable expectations for employers or employees. This Note thus advocates for comprehensive statutory reform to address the unreliable legal framework. Specifically, this Note proposes that Congress amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to limit its application in the employment context, and amend the DTSA to provide the Federal Trade Commission with the authority to regulate trade secret misappropriation.
Danielle J. Reid
J.D. Candidate, 2018, Vanderbilt Law School; B.B.A., B.A., 2015, Southern Methodist University