Privacy concerns for Facebook and what this means for the workplace.

Facebook has recently been engulfed in a growing scandal over the way it harvests data.

The problems began when it emerged that Cambridge Analytica, a political data company, had been using Facebook to gather information. That same data company has been credited with helping both the Donald Trump and Brexit campaigns achieve their victories.

It was revealed that the company built special software tricking people into giving up their personal information through the facade of a fun Facebook quiz. Cambridge Analytica has denied using the data and says it has been deleted.

"The claim that this is a data breach is completely false"

"Aleksandr Kogan requested and gained access to information from users who chose to sign up to his app, and everyone involved gave their consent. People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked."

Still feels like a breach though, right? People lost control of important data about themselves and they didn’t know anything about it. Whilst Facebook's failing was not in it's security protocols, instead, it's now about who it lets use it's site to harvest data and how they're allowed to do so. From a personal perspective, the same general internet safety rules apply as always - be alert and be cautious about everything you share over the internet. But for employers and in the workplace this adds a whole new layer of complexity.

The main steps that employers should be taking is implementing policies in relation to contentious issues to communicate clearly to employees the expectations that employers have of them. This will include IT Policies, smart phone policies and social media policies. A social media policy is very important. Whilst each incident of social media misuse turns on its own facts, employers with comprehensive, well-communicated and up-to-date social media policies are best positioned to hold employees accountable for their actions. An intranet portal, like OneSpace, has out-of-the-box functionality for document management for policies and procedures and is built on Microsoft Office 365 to leverage advanced document search functionality.

Today's consumers are internet savy.

Your customers want to protect their own privacy and are more cautious than ever at sharing information about themselves online. This in turn means that companies need to be proactive in their approach to privacy and security policies and actively demonstrate to their customers and potential clients that they are ethical and will not disclose sensitive information.

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