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Gartner predicts huge rise in monitoring of employees' social media use

Grant Gross | May 30, 2012
Corporations are starting to embrace technologies used to monitor employee Internet use, with 60 percent expected to watch workers' social media use for security breaches by 2015, according to a new report from Gartner.

A number of available products will monitor social media use by employees, and many public relations firms also will monitor social media as part of their service, Gartner said. Security organizations also are beginning to pay attention to social media, not only for internal security surveillance, but also to detect emerging threats, the analysis firm said.

"The problem lies in the ability of surveillance tools and methods to produce large volumes of irrelevant information," Walls said in a press release. "This personal information can be exposed accidentally or become the target of voyeuristic behavior by security staff."

Companies considering new monitoring programs need to make sure they are complying with the laws of every country they operate in, Walls wrote in the report. In addition, if companies want to monitor employee social media activity on employee-owned devices, they will need to get permission from the workers, Gartner said.

Security staff should get permission from the company executives before monitoring, the report added. "Surveillance is an unusual activity that requires specialized capabilities and clear authority from senior management," Walls wrote.


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