Record retention & social media policies

If a company gets sued or audited it may need to produce relevant social networking data as part of their electronically stored information according to Melissa Krasnow, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney in her article on the need for corporate social networking policies.   This means they better include social networking considerations as part of their records retention policy. 

Ms. Krasnow quotes a study from Manpower that 29% of companies in American (all sizes?) have developed such policies or maybe more accurately, they SAY they have.  Maybe the 29% refers to the Fortune 1000 companies but beyond that, I have a hard believing that a quarter of all smaller companies have these policies.

And even if these companies have such policies may guess is that they are mostly inadequate.  Here are just six tough questions that every social networking policy must address:

  • Can there be a one size fits all policy that covers all employees (remember, marketing and sales people may need to use social networking to reach out to clients)
  • Can a company handle every employees violation of social networking policy in the same way, no matter what their position? 
  • What about using social networking to screen potential job applicants?
  • What about finding job candidates using social networking?
  • How does social networking impact existing email policies where communications through social networking  is often tied to an email account?
  • What can a company do to protect its goodwill and reputation if customers use social networking to complaint about products and services?

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