In a recent court case, a company took control over a former president’s personal LinkedIn profile, denied her access to it and re-populated the profile with information about the new company’s president. While the former president as the plaintiff won on the merits, the court didn’t award her any damages because it didn’t believe she lost out on a business deal because of the misappropriation of her LinkedIn profile.
Whether it is LinkedIn or Facebook, an employer or prospective employer, the individual faces many challenges in maintaining control of free social media profiles. In fact, there maybe value in paying for your business profile. If there was a license based on payment between the social media provider and the individual, then the individual would have contractual protections. However, as it is, free is free. My advice is to use your website as your primary resource for your public persona and keep Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ etc. of secondary importance.