North Carolina Employees are not “Authorized” to Divert Employer Data
Amy R. Worley writes:
As the year draws to a close, employer claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) against departing employees for stealing or otherwise diverting employer information without authorization to do so are dying slow deaths in many federal courts across the nation. As noted over on the Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Report, the U.S. federal circuits are split regarding whether an employee acts “without authorization” under CFAA when he or she steals employer confidential data at or near termination. The Second, Ninth and Fourth Circuits hold that as long as the employee was permitted to be on a computer for any purpose, diversion of employer information is “authorized” under CFAA. In contrast, the First, Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits have adopted a broad construction, allowing CFAA claims alleging an employee misused employer information that he or she was otherwise permitted to access.
Now, in North Carolina at least, employers may have better luck under fighting malevolent employees under the North Carolina statutory corollary to CFAA.
Read more on Jackson Lewis Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report.