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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tracking Social Media for Possible Confidentiality Violations

Found via FastFoward blog -Attention Business Bloggers: Big Brother is Watching
- Techrigy is a new start-up that focuses on:

Real–time social media management for enterprises with SM2.

As blogs and wikis spread throughout enterprises, organizations must deal with compliance and risk-management issues that are created from communications through these media. Not only are employees communicating through these media at work, but they are also doing so at home. Is your organization aware of what employees are communicating through blogs and wikis? Are communications through these media that are affiliated with the organization or company being monitored for liability risks and being retained in case of litigation?

Techrigy’s SM2 is an enterprise–level management tool that helps organization control and monitor blogs and wikis that employees are utilizing. SM2 discovers and inventories all blogs and wikis being used in an organization, records these communications and monitors them for risks and liabilities.

SM2 can help your organization implement and utilize social media by providing a tool for monitoring these media and enforcing your organization's compliance policies.

Yes, that's right it watches what employees do to try to determine if there are risks. At first, this might seem like a really bad thing, and I'm sure that Stephen Downes won't be happy. On the other hand, it may help address the common objection that is often raised by organizations around this very topic. I personally don't think this is different than email or IM. Anything put in an email can possibly be leaked out. If anything email can be worse. Of course, you can't see what people are putting in their personal email right, so at least you have more visibility.

1 comment:

Stephen Downes said...

I remember a program that employers could use to scan every employee's email. It was marketed as a knowledge management tool; the idea was that you were "capturing" their knowledge by tracking email conversations. The company - I think it was called Exist (not to be confused with the Exist database system) - was eventually bought by IBM, whereupon it vanished.

I am also aware of various keyboard-logging programs that are used by companies to watch every word typed by their staff.

So this program is nothing new; it's just the same old snooping applied in a Web 2.0 environment.

I will simply observe that people have a lot of tolerance for behaviour by corporations that they would rise in rebellion against were it practiced by a government.