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A survey conducted by Proskauer for the year 2012 identifies the 5 best practices that companies in 19 various countries do with regards to social media.
The countries participating in this survey include the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Ireland, India, Hong-Kong, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, China, Canada, Brazil and Argentina.
Across these various countries, the best practices are amazingly common despite differences in culture and legality.
Companies should apply a social media committed policy
Companies should come up with rules that let employees know how they should use social media inside or outside the work area, even when they are no longer employed to the company. The social media policy should also be in compliance with requirements in the locality.
Social media use can have a negative effect to a company. For example, an employee can share confidential data, and employers will have a hard time figuring out who retrieved that vital information. That employee can change the privacy settings so that the employer will not know who shared the confidential information.
Policies should be clear so that violators will be sanctioned for violating the laws of misusing social media.
Respect to local requirements if social media monitoring is applied
If an employer monitors the social media use of its employee, it should have policies which clearly define the nature and extent of this overseeing. Local requirements, including those that protect privacy, must also be complied.
If an employer fails to do so, he may be sanctioned, the monitoring policy may be suspended, and all those evidence against the employee obtained through the monitoring system may be barred.
A balanced monitoring system must be applied.
The sole purpose of monitoring should be the protection of the business interests of the employer. Furthermore, it should only be done by employees with the right training, in particular, those who really know their limitations and what is acceptable monitoring. These trained, elected employees should also comply with the privacy obligations of the locality, showing respect to personal data transfer, confidentiality and safe storage.
In general, the balance between employee privacy rights and company interests must be achieved upon use of this monitoring system.
Recruiting or disciplining employees by using social media should be done with caution.
Information that employers obtain in social media websites regarding their employees can be inaccurate. It’s best to be careful when making decisions based on this information, as these decisions may create unlawful judgments. Furthermore, the employer may violate information privacy obligations and the privacy rights of the employee.
There are a couple of things to consider before thinking about disciplining one’s employee based on information obtained from social media. These things, business matters, privacy rights, and free speech rights, must be balanced. The employer decides which rights have more weight, and the decision may also be influenced by the location and the country the business is in.
Confidential data of a company must be protected.
It’s a major concern nowadays; employees use social media to misuse confidential company information. Employers must implement social media policies against this, but also edit pre-existing specifications regarding confidential data misuse to include social media.
Social media has indeed become more predominant in the office. As such, the company must think about its effects on a global scale.
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