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Keeping A Watchful Eye On Web. 2.0

Connecticut Law Tribune

February 1, 2010

Authors: Charles L. Howard, Christopher R. Drury

Even as many businesses struggle to adapt their technology and personnel policies to deal with the improper use of e-mail and its potential for unauthorized disclosure of confidential and proprietary information, technology has created new Web 2.0 applications that generate additional risks of unauthorized disclosure.

Today, Web 2.0 encompasses online social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, web-based applications such as Google docs, video-sharing sites like You Tube, wikis, blogs, and micro blogging services like Twitter. The defining characteristic of Web 2.0 applications is that they permit users to interact with other users to create content, as opposed to passively viewing information that is simply presented to them. Since much of the information is transmitted on third-party servers and through the Internet, just the process of finding out who may be doing what is daunting.

Yet, it is precisely these seamless features that make Web 2.0 applications particularly problematic to businesses. Not only are employees spending an incredible amount of time on these sites, both for business purposes and personal reasons, but they do so with a casualness of communication that creates a greater risk of disclosure of sensitive workplace information. And to further complicate matters, discovering what employees may be doing and saying presents its own set of challenges.

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