“Having a social media presence and strategy is becoming as much a business prerequisite as having a web site. The business benefits of social networking are obvious. The customers are already there—more than 150 million Americans, 800 million users worldwide— and they are constantly posting personal information that can be leveraged for pinpoint targeting of information and advertising. Businesses can easily take advantage of the information base, the growing ecosystem of Facebook-based business applications, and the Facebook application development platform. Businesses from multi-nationals to the bakery around the corner are nurturing their social media relationships and figuring out how to turn "friends" into dollars.
However, along with all the excitement about the recent Facebook IPO have come some sober reminders that social networking in general and Facebook in particular poses potentially serious and as-yet undefined risks for businesses entrusted with personal information. Last November, the FTC reached a settlement with Facebook over "unfair and deceptive practices" regarding user privacy. The FTC order stated that Facebook had, in some cases, allowed advertisers to gain personally identifiable information when a Facebook user clicked on an advertisement on his or her Facebook page, and that the company had shared user information with outside application developers despite claims to the contrary to its users. ”
Clearly, companies that are using social media outlets to promote their businesses online need to understand the applications they are using and the risks to their customer’s private information.
Are you using social media to promote your business? Is your customer’s information secure?
You can read the entire ID Experts’ article, which contains some good mitigation strategies, here.
This from the ID Experts’ Data Breach Examiner Newsletter:© 2013 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP