Tag Archive for ‘Social Media’
Facebook has long let users see all sorts of things the site knows about them, like whether they enjoy soccer, have recently moved, or like Melania Trump. But the tech giant gives users little indication that it buys far more sensitive data about them – detailed dossiers obtained from commercial data brokers – regarding their income, the types of restaurants they frequent and even how many credit cards are in their wallets.
Facing a wave of criticism for allowing advertisers to exclude anyone with an “affinity” for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people from seeing ads, Facebook said it would build an automated system that would let it better spot ads that discriminate illegally.
The ubiquitous social network not only allows advertisers to target users by their interests or background, it also gives advertisers the ability to exclude specific groups it calls “Ethnic Affinities.” Ads that exclude people based on race, gender and other sensitive factors are prohibited by federal law in housing and employment.
The division between what’s permissible and what’s merely outrageous online grows fuzzier day by day, with legislators, regulators, police officers and businesses scrambling to harness the wild wild west of social media law. “The Internet,” says a New York district attorney, “is our 21st century crime scene.” James Hyatt reports.
Responding to a congressional query, nine data companies provided answers to a detailed set of questions about what kinds of information they collect about individual Americans, and where they get that data. Their responses show that some companies record – and then resell – your screen names, web site addresses, interests, hometown and professional history, and how many friends or followers you have.
An advisor on information and communications issues argues that the The Global Reporting Initiative seems to completely ignore two of the most significant human rights issues of our time—freedom of expression and privacy—and hasn’t kept pace with the explosion of the information and communications technology industry.
Boards of directors have an important role to play in ensuring that the management team is examining the threats and opportunities digital presents — and devoting appropriate resources to digital initiatives. Consequently, the demand for directors with an in-depth understanding of the trends and technologies shaping the digital landscape has risen substantially in the past 12 months. According to one 2011 survey, demand for directors with digital or technology backgrounds increased by 21 percent from 2010.
With Facebook now claiming more than 840 million active users around the globe – and other social networks surging as well – it’s increasingly clear that boards of major companies need to factor the social media phenomenon into the governance equation. Digital “dashboards” are one way of staying abreast of what’s going on. Another is for the board to recruit a “digital director” – but they’re in short supply.
The National Labor Relations Board continues to probe the pitfalls of social media in the workplace. The agency’s new year-end survey of 14 recent unfair labor practice cases cited several instances where employers adopted “overly broad” policies in attempting to police use of social media at work or online, even though, in some cases the discipline or discharge of an employee was legal.
The good news is that on-the-job misconduct by American workers may be at an all-time low, and when misconduct is detected it’s likely to be reported by co-workers. The bad news is that whistle-blowers are being retaliated against for their truth-telling at a “shocking” rate, according to a new survey.