It should come as no surprise that with the establishment of company accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, and the like, that the data captured from these sites will also need to be governed. But the Data Governance and Information Quality (DGIQ) Conference in San Diego, CA serves as anecdotal evidence that governance of media-generated content is a conundrum with which the data governance groups are just beginning to grapple. There were a number of conference speakers, pundits and authorities who spoke on the topic. And the current conversation focused more on awareness than on any specific set of directions.
The difficulties inherent in data collected via social media for data governance are multi-fold:
- Lack of clarity on internal ownership. Social media has data streaming into your organization. Who is the data steward? If multiple, how do we go about getting them to review, manage and control the data? Is it the Marketing group? How about Sales? Or is it a Line of Business? And is the Information Technology group providing them with avenues to govern the data?
- Customer Awareness of Data Use. As an individual signing up on sites, I warily watch the duel over “privacy practices” being played out by Facebook and its customer base and wonder how much of the content is secured vs. how much is mine to control. As a member of the IT industry and an organization with a web page, I’m part of the community which noted the row caused by Instagram when on Dec. 18, 2012 newspapers trumpeted the headlines that Instagram can now sell their customers’ photographs without their permission (see Wired). By Dec. 28, The Wall Street Journal was reporting that Instagram had lost 25% of its customers. Boom. Gone. What company can afford that? So, what data collected from these sites can we use?…and how can data accumulated be used? If an individual (whether a customer or just someone who browsed our Facebook site) posts information or opinions, can we the organization utilize whatever we wish?
- Legal implications. Consider these eyebrow-raising stories:
This last article described how personal information available from social media sites is leading to an increase in fraud, based on a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research. “The incidence of identity fraud in 2011 rose to about 5 percent of the adult United States population, up from roughly 4 percent the year before, the report found. But among Facebook users with public profiles, the rate was 7.5 percent, while users who accept ‘friend’ requests from strangers had an even higher rate, of nearly 9 percent.”
What does all this imply? That Data Governance groups need to expand their understanding of what social media data is available, what data policies need to be created or tuned for this data, and how they manage and track the governance.
Oh – and keep track of those headlines and lawsuits.