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Social networking boosts legal, regulatory compliance headaches

Lucas Mearian | May 10, 2010
For companies, the sites are too valuable as sales tools to block

"Our issue with social media is less about how to restrict it, and more about how to enable it," Srebnick said.

The DoITT acts as the clearinghouse, or registry, for municipal agencies that have pages on social networking sites for posting public announcements and for interacting with residents. Agencies with those pages much declare them and give DOITT their user IDs and passwords to ensure those pages can continue to be maintained if the employee in charge leaves the agency.

"These sites are not about the person. They're an official communications mechanism of the City of New York," Srebnick said. The DoITT also developed a citywide social media policy that provides overall governance on how agencies should use social networks.

Srebnick said he recognizes that in the future, he will likely look into enabling Facetime's security features. He pointed to last week's Facebook glitchwhere a bug allowed users to view friend's chat sessions as a reason why.

"If we had that kind of control available to us and we knew there was a problem on a particular social media site that could compromise the city's ability to do business in a secure manner, we could take control over that or we could have the ability to audit that," he said. "The idea of having flexible control over a media site in terms of what features could be used and how they're used could be a very powerful thing from a security perspective."

 

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