Are you being monitored?

Courtesy istock

It has been a great week for the followers, including myself, of social media news in Belgium.  Several stories hit the press.  It’s fueling the debate on social networking in business and the need to create awareness and policies..

I love it when companies say that allow their employees to use social media.  This is great and encouraged till criticism, not so good news and negative comments are published.  Then there is a crack down like this week at “De Lijn”, the Flemish bus company.  Immediately, the spokesperson refers to an internet policy that is in place but I can’t stop wondering whether the employees have read it or even know about it?

I love it when companies want to block social media.  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts that social media, including Twitter can not be blocked.  Business is seeing the dangers (information leakage, hacking opportunities, or posting career and company damaging messages) and beginning to see that awareness building needs to be done.

Two interesting articles in the educational sphere poked my interest this week.  Firstly, 2 students were dismissed after creating a Facebook group to ridicule their teachers. This is of course not the first time this happens in our small country.  Secondly, the educational staff is reluctant to participate to social media for a number of reasons such as privacy, contribution to the educational track, lack of guidelines, etc.  Here too, there is a loud cry for guidelines and it is great to hear that it is being worked on for next schoolyear.

There is one thing that catches my attention in all of this: how are companies keeping tabs on their employees?  Do they überhaupt know in which social media their employees are participating?  How much time are they spending to monitor their employees? And do they know? Is this a breach of privacy? To me these issues seem the biggest challenge of all.

Even though I have some answers, any and all thoughts are welcome!

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