Research revealed today shows that a high proportion of businesses uses content on social media sites, however only 54% realize that the content carries legal liability.
Information management firm Iron Mountain, who carried out the research, also found that 54% of companies banned social media sites from being used by employees.
Christian Toon head of information security at Iron Mountain Europe said: “It’s new, it generates huge volumes of unstructured data, and that makes it hard to control.
“The immediacy and informality of social media increase the potential risks of data breaches and information exposure, so it is not surprising that many companies feel threatened.”
Problems can occur when employees open up social media accounts, for example Twitter, to promote the business, but then leave the company for one reason or another.
Only last year, US phone company ‘Phonedog’ sued former employee Noah Kravitz for $370,000. Kravitz worked at the company for 4 years as a blogger, and created a personal Twitter account, which he claimed Phonedog allowed him, as long as he “tweet on their behalf from time to time”.
Kravitz had a following of 17,000 people but after leaving the company, changed his account name and refused to give up his followers and account to the company. This lead to Phonedog sueing Kravitiz.
Phonedog told the BBC that the Twitter account was in fact a ‘mailing list’ and they had ‘invested substantial resources into building it.’
In situations such as this, the ownership of the co-joined account must be clarified. Barbara Cookson, a property lawyer in the UK said to the BBC: “Companies will now be developing careful ways of deciding if they want to tweet with a conjoined account,”
Despite problems such as this arising, many opportunities can be sourced from social media. Christian Toon also added that: “Social media also offers a wealth of possibilities in terms of customer engagement and market awareness.
“No business today can really afford to ignore it. Social media is the tool that a new generation of workers will expect to work with.”