Facebook’s shifting privacy policies are making it increasingly difficult to keep track of Internet privacy. With social media beginning to play a much larger role in the business world, companies have been struggling to maintain a balance on how much freedom their employees are given when it comes to sharing information via Facebook and Twitter. Most companies have social media policies in place, but the majority of these policies are ambiguous at best. Confusion regarding these policies has led some companies into trouble with the law and could have dramatic implications for the insurance industry.
According to the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency of the federal government, the vague social media policies coming from companies has led to a surge in consumer complaints. The information employees share online, whether it be a thinly veiled complaint regarding company practices or a targeted rant at a co-worker, can be damaging to the company as a whole. Furthermore, the insurance industry has been taking a closer look at social media outlets to determine whether the claims being received are accurate.
The board is currently investigating more than 100 cases in which employees have been fired for things they have posted on Facebook. The agency is tasked with determining where the line can be drawn between freedom of speech and a company’s non-disparagement policies. Insurers have, thus far, remained somewhat quiet on the issue as the relatively lax privacy settings most people have on their social media accounts enables them to accurately track the validity of certain claims.