Posts Tagged ‘privacy’


New media consumption – Part 4

In New Media on January 7, 2011 by nickejones Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Social networks, media, user profile, and user data are key elements of the social web in creating ties between objects and resources on the Internet. The challenges of providing relational content distribution to enhance media consumption are privacy and fragmentation. Privacy is major issue concerning sharing and tracking personal information for relational and contextual distribution of media. Fundamentally, users evaluate the risks and opportunity on social networks. Although, there are complex relations between opportunity and risk, online activities require critical judgment, trust, social values, and expectations all of which shape social networking privacy behavior (Livingstone, 2008, p.379). The risk of having personal information stored on the Internet verses the opportunity to have relational content distribution. The pressure for the latter option is the product of the information revolution, facilitated by the Internet. Currently, if content is pushed to a user that has a weak relation, it is considered spam, yet if content is pushed to the user that is highly relevant, this could constitute a breach of privacy. The full implications of profiling users and their activities have not yet been fully realised. Nevertheless, the public has little control over these activities that plague the online social networks.


More and more responsibility and onus on privacy is deflected to users. Although there is a tendency for users to be less concerned with privacy issues as relational media distribution has higher value than the perceived privacy risk. The volume of information requires more effective models of information retrieval. Successive and dictionary searchers are no longer effective methods of retrieval with the vast composition of media online. The adoption of the social web will support the distribution of niche, contextual information and media. Supporting this initiative presents unprecedented value to the consumer as it will enhance the attainment of “experience, attainment, and understanding” in the digital environment (Adams, 1997, pg.947). Ultimately, the social web leveraging personal information enables more proficient filtering, which is necessary for improved web services.


New media has a shorter lifecycle and rapid production. Accessibility to relevant content is high priority and will enhance a user’s experience.  Evens et al (2010) says media including digital television require new strategies that apply interactivity, and the long tail-based business model to tailor content specific to the user. The increased impact of niche content is consequently reducing the impact of blockbusters (mainstream) media. This is facilitated by the Internet and “by applying the long tail principle, the provision of digital niche content aims to suit all tastes, including minority interests” (p.1009).  Although there is more verity of media, the methods of distributing are still evolving. The recognition that tailed content across the long-tail can be facilitated by the social web has yet to be explored or applied entirely. A barrier to distributing media is the fragmentation of Internet resources. Media and data are fragmented over the web with very little unity in structure.  The massive migration of users to social networks leads people to believe that innovation in media distribution will come from these platforms. Utilizing the semantic web and metadata “descriptive” methodologies, will be the key to link personal profiles and network ties, facilitating the retrieval of relevant media.

Facebook has the third largest population in the world. The platform provides a standardised experience (network connections, and data structures) that will enhance the delivery of content, based on complex contextual reasoning using individual’s personal information and data. The 2010 partnership of Bing and Facebook could be revolutionary to the social web ideology, by reorganizing the distribution and consequently the consumption of new media.  Other social networks such as Linkedin can mirror this activity in the future to provide media that is more specific to their platform genre. For business professionals, leveraging their personal Linkedin profile to retrieve contextual industry and business media has profound value. Nevertheless, the professional networks continually scrutinize the privacy of sensitive information as these issues potentially have serious adverse financial and social impacts.




You’re fired! The risk of social media.

In Enterprise2.0,Social Media on August 19, 2010 by nickejones Tagged: , ,

What are the legal risk for organisational stakeholders? There are all sorts of risk to organisations and it’s employees. Many traditional organisation would rather ignore social media then embrace it due to these associated risks. But does ignoring social media reduce all risks? 

Firstly, lets look at a few risk involved, then look at who’s at risk and some ways to manage risk.

— Confidential information (accounts manager contacts)
— Disclosure by employees (recommended a person via social media and gave key organisational business relationships by publicly letting people know about the two companies working together).
— Copyright infringement (don’t own the copyright material but post it on the Internet).
— Privacy Act (disclosure of improperly sanitised “sensitive information”.
— Discrimination  (acceptance of friend requests of some employee’s but not others)
— Misleading and deceptive conduct – the website is wrong or misleading to the public or business.
— Employers vicariously liable for authorised conduct.

(It is important to note that risk significance will depend on the context)

If you’re an individual reading this for personal reference, the best advice is to use common sense. Acknowledge that there is a risk in posting information, and use personal judgement to whether or not this could have legal implications. Yes, this is not the most helpful advice but the reality is that there are few standards or common law for social media. Therefore, the best precaution an individual can make is being knowledgeable of the risks in order to manage your participation and content you might post online.

From a organisational point-of-view, the best ways to manage risks related to social media is policy. Social media policy is fundamental to successfully manage the risk associated with social media.

So if there are risk involved why use it? Consider what is at risk vs what can be gained. Depending on the context, risk will vary. Organisational structures, culture, regulations,  and information sensitivity will be different depending on the organisation. The methods of reducing risk is policies and providing education to staff. These exercisers are not only necessary for the organisation but also necessary for the employees to be save and confident in the internal and external use of social media. An organisation refusing to adopt Enterprise 2.0 tools still puts there employees at risk and liable while externally (outside of work) conducting social media activities. Therefore, it is the organisations obligation to ensure their employees and their organisation are protected through education seminars and updated policies.

The blur between work and play is evident and social media is now a part of everyday society.  These tools can be used for great benefit to networking, marketing, and PR activities. But the implications of this are that organisation and their employees need to be aware of the risks involved. Risk are present when an organisations ignores social media just as much as when an organisation implements them. Take precautions for the employee and organisation so that all parties can have confidence when conducting activities online.