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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 10
Today, businesses want cost-saving technologies to promote products, enhance customer service and improve 'brand' value. Social media, particularly Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, can be extremely useful to engage with clients, generate new contacts and develop business. But it has its drawbacks. Remember -- anything that is posted on the internet is potentially available forever. Recent cases, e.g Sony's PlayStation data theft of 75 million accounts and the arrest of News of the World journalists over phone and email hacking, highlight the dangers of posting personal data on the internet -- even with security and confidentiality 'guarantees'. The power, sophistication and exponential growth of technology and the internet have impacted markedly on privacy since the 1980s. Changes to Australia's Privacy Act are foreshadowed to protect individual privacy because much remains unregulated. Businesses must be aware that there are risks associated with social media. Strategies must be employed to mitigate these risks, which include potential copyright and intellectual property breaches, defamation and misleading conduct, as well as bullying, discrimination, harassment and more. A recent US case showed that a tweet ("She [a worker's supervisor] doesn't know what she is doing"), resulted in a defamation claim. If your website includes, or links to, any information that is defamatory or a breach of copyright or intellectual property (eg, use of a logo without permission), you may be liable. Website terms and conditions should clearly disclaim responsibility for any information on the site or sites linked from it. These should be in 'click-wrap' form, i.e, users need to click on an 'I Agree' button to access data. That said, if defamatory statements are made, this is unlikely to protect you. Members should be aware of employees using social media at work. Publicise your procedures and policies internally, and include consequences for misuse, so that using social media in the workplace requires staff agreement with company policies. Businesses can be liable for breaches using workplace systems. The policies should cover who is authorised to edit websites and what emails must include or exclude, etc -- particularly, offensive language, threats, abuse, bullying and harassment. Remember, nothing online remains private. If in doubt -- get advice. Social media and the internet -- the devil's in the detail Social media is taking off, but there are a number of things you need to remember from a legal perspective. Words Calvert J. Duffy, executive director -- gover nance & compliance, MFAA For many of us, social media websites have been a part of life for a while now. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are being used on a daily basis, and the way we interact with people -- particularly friends -- has changed considerably. The take-up of social media in the business sphere has understandably been slower. After all, there's a lot more to lose and a lot more to be wary about when you're conducting business online. However, if one thing has become abundantly evident during 2011 it is the need for businesses of all shapes and sizes to have a well considered social media strategy. Because if you're not talking to your customers and potential customers online, your competitors will be. Of course, while 'Gen Y' has been brought up using the internet and social media platforms, there is an awful lot of incredibly good business people who have at best shied away from, and at worst ignored, the social media phenomenon. And if that's you, now is the time to act. Open your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, create your tribe, find out where your potential customers 'hang out' online. Establish yourself as an authority by keeping them informed of the latest goings-on in the industry. If you have already got social media pages up and running, now's the time to propel them forward by ensuring you are communicating in an informative and timely fashion. To help you on your way, we've put together an expert guide on using the different platforms -- I hope you find it useful, whatever your level of experience. Martin Wanless, editor It's virtually good to talk 10 | Mortgage & Finance brief Editor's letter MFAA Compliance Brief
Mortgage and Finance Brief 09
Mortgage and Finance Brief 11