April 28, 2011 (Mountain View, CA) – Robert Brownstone, Technology and eDiscovery Counsel and co-chair of the Electronic Information Management Group with Fenwick & West, was quoted in the Businessweek article, “Yammer, Chatter, Hot Water,” regarding the advantages and perils of corporate social networks.
Employers and employees alike have been repeatedly cautioned of the perils of embarrassing or incriminating social networking posts, and recent headlines have highlighted the consequences of these missteps. However, employers are now dealing with a variation of social networking that brings the technology into the workplace and presents a new set of risks.
The combination of social networking and collaboration software allows corporations to set up an internal social network so that employees can communicate freely on a wide variety of issues. While there are many benefits to these internal social networks, they also bring with them the risks of traditional social networking.
Robert Brownstone says social networking and collaboration tools offer many advantages, but warns that managers must be careful to monitor what's said.
"There are benefits to capturing what people are writing and to get your arms around what employees are committing to writing," Brownstone stated. If employees write things that violate regulations, though, "there are concerns in terms of keeping track of it."