Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2011-09-29 05:39:33Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. Recent changes to Facebook promise to let friends share content more easily and to allow users to follow the lives of others through subscriptions.  The more freely information flows, the better, right?  Based on the way FaceBook and Twitter usage has grown, that would certainly seem to be the case.  As we pointed out in our information governance webinar with ViaLumina, Ltd., one of the primary value propositions of Information Governance (IG) is creating business value through better usage of information. The other side of the IG value coin is risk management; the free flow of information through social media presents real risks – both for corporations and individuals.

More and more client inquiries focus on collection of social media content.  FINRA is one regulatory body that has state that social media content must be treated like any other electronic content.  To that end, many archiving vendors now have ways to capture Twitter feeds and store alongside emails and instant messages.  Depending on how active a Twitter user the employee is, this could result in a lot of data flowing into the archive.  With the increasing usage of social media, organizations are looking to get ahead of the curve in terms of collecting it.

X1 Discovery recently briefed EDJ on its social media collection offering, X1 Social Discovery (to be released October 18, 2011).  I was fascinated to learn both what is collectible and how many ways there are to collect certain social media content.  For example, X1 Social Discovery can get Twitter content in 3 ways:

  1. Use the users’ Twitter credentials to collect from the account
  2. Create a case-based Twitter account and follow the users you need to collect from
  3. Create a case-based Twitter account, search twitter.com for key words or phrases, and add those search results to the collection

The solution not only searches and indexes the Tweet itself, but also any links in the Tweet and indexes the main page referenced in the link.  This can be very valuable in an investigation scenario.  X1 Social Discovery collects from Twitter and FaceBook for the time being, but the vendor reports that LinkedIn collection will be available by the time of general release on 10/18.

One of the scenarios that X1 demonstrated for us really got me thinking about the responsibility of individuals, as potential custodians, to protect their own privacy.  The X1 team showed us how they could track users on FaceBook and report back what the users liked or commented on if the user kept that visible to the public.  Given the complexity of FaceBook’s privacy settings and the fact that many people don’t know how to use them, this could become a big issue.  To date, it seems that availability of electronic evidence is the standard for admissibility (I’m over-simplying here, I know…but if the evidence exists and can be proven authentic, it will more than likely get used).  To that end, it is incumbent upon us as individuals to protect our privacy and be sure we know what we make public.



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