If I googled a couple co-workers and looked up their online profiles, would this a criminal act if they discovered it?

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If I googled a couple co-workers and looked up their online profiles, would this a criminal act if they discovered it?

Could I be in danger with my company if I used my personal device?

Asked on October 13, 2018 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you did not "hack" anything but merely did a Google-type search and found publically accessible information (i.e. what anyone could have found doing the same search), you did not nothing illegal: it is not criminal to do a Google search and view what comes up, because the act of doing a Google or internet search is not illegal or against the law.
Bear in mind, however, that unless you have a written employment contract guarantying or protecting your job, you are an "employee at will." An employee at will has no rights to his or her job and can be fired for any--even for doing legal things, if the employer objects to it. So your employer could suspend, demote, discipline, or even terminate you if it does not like what you did, notwithstanding that you did not break any laws.


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