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Social networking: creating a presence

Some organizations are creating a presence on social networks to promote products and services and to communicate directly with their customers.

  • But when an organization creates a profile for this purpose, how does it define and communicate its privacy practices for the information it collects?
  • And how should employees who communicate with customers on an individual basis use the additional personal information available to them from their customers’ profile?

These are all questions companies using social networks as a sales or promotion tool should be asking.

Organizations also need to be aware that social media sites can be abused for fraud purposes and that the information that is collected by the site is not in the control of the organization and will likely end up “living” longer than the organization intends or expects.

Policies and training are key 

It is important that organizations develop and communicate thoughtful policies that address interactions among customers, employees and job candidates. 

Merely disabling social network use in the workplace is not a sustainable solution 

The reliance on these policies is especially paramount in an environment where regulatory requirements do not easily align with technology and its common uses. Awareness campaigns and training must accompany the policy changes.

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