Target Targets Blogger Who Posted Anti-Theft Procedures
from the trade-secrets-or-freedom-of-speech dept
Target is the latest big company to be bit by bloggers, and they're apparently not happy about it. The company is trying to find out the identity of an anonymous anti-Target blogger who posted details of Target's anti-shoplifting procedures, which they claim are confidential. It appears that an ex-employee forwarded the procedures to the site, and the person behind the site notes that he never signed any confidentiality agreement, so the information is fair game. Target, on the other hand, claims that this info is a trade secret, and publishing it is breaking the law. There are some similarities here to the case where Apple sued a blogger for revealing product info which they claimed was a "trade secret." In that case, the courts chalked it up to a "freedom of the press" issue -- but it's not clear if the same reasoning would apply here. Either way, perhaps a more important issue is that this information is out there now, and it's not going to disappear (especially as the lawsuit gives it more attention). It says something about Target's anti-shoplifting procedures that they seem afraid they won't work if people know about them. Perhaps that suggests Target needs better security procedures in place -- where it doesn't matter whether or not anyone knows about them. Of course, this isn't the first time Target has run into trouble with people posting information online about it. A few years back it was involved in a lawsuit with a site that posted sale prices before they were officially published. It certainly is natural for a company to worry about all this information getting out there, but at some point it needs to realize there are better ways to deal with it than to go to court.