What Worries Compliance Officers?

what worries complaince officersWhen it comes to regulated markets, compliance is a major issue, especially when it comes to social media, it worries compliance officers and has held back the use of social media in regulated markets.

So, what keeps compliance officers up at night and what do they do about it.

In short, anything posted on social media is amplified and can have an impact on the brand and the reputation and once the cat is out of the box, getting it back in the box is rather difficult.

As Warren Buffet said:“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Of course, there are ways to mitigate risk. For one thing, a social media policy explaining who can post on social media sites, how they post and what they can or cannot say, what requires compliance approval before posting.  Yous social media policy should also define the steps to follow in case of crisis

The other challenge is what employees post about the company on their personal social media accounts.  Their post can be perceived as representing the views of the companies and can have an impact on the company reputation and/or have repercussions from the regulatory authorities

What makes it even more challenging is that be it in healthcare or financial services there are no set social media rules.  The regulatory authorities (FDA, FINRA, SEC, OCC and others) have not created a framework to regulate social media, they have only issued guidance on how to apply traditional communication with the public regulations to the electronic era and social media. The guidance seems to be a lot clearer though in the financial markets; in the medical market, the FDA is still going back and forth and the guidance can be confusing at best.

In addition, social media platforms are diverse and so are the posting modes and the number of character allowed creating challenges especially when it comes to disclosures.

Read more about what keeps compliance officers awake in financial services.

How to Preserve Your Privacy on Facebook

In light of the changes Facebook recently sneaked in privacy settings, it is important for users to adapt and understand how you can still preserve your privacy on Facebook, at least some if not most of it.

If you elected to keep your profile private and out of the Facebook search feature, well no more.  Now anybody can find your profile if you have one of Facebook.

The change was announced in a Facebook blog post (see bellow) by the company “Chief Privacy Officer”???  Michael Richter.  Yes, they do have a CPO although it seems privacy is really a second thought when it comes to Facebook and some other social media platforms.

“The (previous)setting also made Facebook’s search feature feel broken at times. For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn’t find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn’t find each other through search

Although I can see the second point, the first point was what keeping a profile “private” was about.

Now mind you, let’s say only 5% of Facebook 1.2B users opted for that privacy setting, that’s 60 million users, roughly the population of a country like France.

If you elected to keep your profile out of searches, well, it’s not going to happen but there is a lot you can do, it’s going to take some work though.

The first thing you need to do is segment your “friends” list. Segmenting is another word for creating groups of friends (called “Lists” on Facebook) based on their interests in order to show them what they will be interested in.

If you don’t have hundreds, that will be really quick, otherwise it will be time consuming but well worth your time if you value your privacy.  And if your profile was set as private I assume you do.  Follow these quick steps Continue reading

Are you ready for the EU Cookie Directive deadline?

26th of May 2012 is the official deadline for websites to conform with the EU Cookie Directive which requires all European websites to request permission before serving cookies to EU Cookie Directivetheir visitors. Cookies are generally used to improve the  visitors’ experience by remembering what visitors are doing and displaying differently based on that information. Most tracking software also use cookies to collect data, so without cookies on your website, tracking like Google Analytics won’t work. The reason the EU Cookie Directive exists is because cookies watch the activities of visitors, so could be seen to infringe on their privacy…I can see the point but this directive is creating way more problems than it’s solving.

In order to get permission you are forced to either stop site visitors when entering your site with a pop up and demand permission at that point, OR use a banner at the top or bottom of your website asking nicely. The first option is intrusive and may well put a lot of visitors off your website altogether. The second option risks being ignored by people who just don’t understand what they’re agreeing to. What does that mean? Any tracking cookies won’t work – a missed opportunity to gather some useful data, potentially on a large chunk of your website’s visits. Also any cookies that help to make the visitor’s website experience more customised and enjoyable won’t work. Oh and not forgetting: if you’re running ads on your website that are highly targeted to the visitors, they also won’t work without getting cookie consent. If this is your website’s source of revenue, it’s a big problem!

What does the EU Cookie Directive mean to you?

You can either:

  1. Ignore it (and risk hefty fines)
  2. Stop using cookies (you’re be surprised by how much of your website actually uses cookies to run)
  3. Install the ability to request permission BEFORE using cookies on your website

How can you comply with the EU Cookie Directive?

Read more

What happens to your online profile when you’re gone?

Three Facebook users die every minute for a total of 1.78 million Facebook users in 2011, what is the future of your digital self?

You might not know what happens when you die but you can control what happens online!

You are filling the internet with status updates, image and video creating new digital dilemmas such as:

Whether you want to live forever online?
How to protect your privacy after death?
How to maintain your digital legacy?
Who to appoint as your digital executor?
Whether You Would Want to Be Digitally Resurrected

Do you know the death policies of all your online accounts?

 

10 Things To Know About Liability In The Social Media World

With the explosion of websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in-house counsel should give careful consideration to the unique problems social media presents, how it affects the workplace, and how to address employees’ and third parties’ social media usage.

As with the rise of the Internet and blogs, existing employee and intellectual property issues play out in the social media world in sometimes surprising ways, creating new challenges and problems for in-house counsel. Social media has the capability to dramatically increase these problems and challenges by providing a much larger, well-connected audience. The following are some specific, brief considerations that in-house counsel should analyze and address with company employees.

1. Secrets are gone in a flash (or click).
2. Employee posts in social media may be protected speech
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3. Employee posts may subject the company to liability.
4. Employee posts may prompt federal administrative action.
5. Social media provides an exponentially bigger, real-time audience for traditional employee-relations problems.
6. Using social media as a recruiting tool can backfire.
7. Registering user names is a cost-effective, protective measure.
8. Implementing social media policies is becoming a best practice
9. The best defense is a good offense
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10. Social media adds litigation considerations.

Read More

What is concidered acceptable content on Facebook

I often get the question:  What is considered acceptable content and what will get me in trouble on Facebook?

There is no easy or clear cut answer. The Facebook TOS (Terms of Service) concerning acceptable content, as with many Facebook rules are pretty vague and murky and their application, at Facebook’s discretion with little if any recourse.

The TOS states: “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence,”

The interpretation is subjective and left to a committee based in Ireland, one of the most puritan countries in Europe.  As we have seen in the past, the interpretation and application has been at best random, without due process and recourse.

To stay on the safe side, the best advice I can give is:  do not post anything you would not want your mother or grand mother to see.

If you are not confused enough as most of us are, this article titled: “Too far for Facebook? How the site decides what to ban” goes into more details.

 

Goodbye Facebook Places

Less than a year after Facebook deployed “Places” to compete with Foursquare and Gowalla, Facebook is pulling the plug on Places over the next few weeks.

Despite its 750 million members, Facebook could not leverage its mass to make “places” work

Facebook Places never really got much traction compared to other self standing geolocalization platforms like Foursquare, Yelp, Gowalla and other niche platforms.  Places though is not going the way of the dinosaurs, Facebook opted to integrate the localization feature directly in the post, on the wall.

The new feature will allow any user to tag locations in their posts.  They won’t need a smart phone or be near the place for that matter.  They will be able to use the feature from a computer, tablet or any other device giving them access to the internet using the “Places” icon at the bottom of the post

What does that mean for users.  As Facebook changed its aim from Foursquare to Groupon with the deployment of the Facebook “Deals”, we can expect a closer integration of “Deals” with the posts and more online offers.  Hopefully these offers will not clog the wall

Good news though, after the uproar on Facebook privacy settings and the bad habit Facebook had to make new features “opt-out”, Facebook seems to have listened to users and the location feature will be “opt-in”

Who knows, they may even start a new trend that will lead more companies to adopt the “opt-in” model rather that the “opt-out” model.