Texting Sensitive Information

Posted by

Barry Siskind

Community Manager

There has been a lot of concern lately about privacy and security on public networks.

A study by Michael Schober, Professor of Psychology and Dean of The New School for Social Research, and Fred Conrad, Cognitive Psychologist and Director of the Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) is a real eye-opener. According to the research “People are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text messages than in voice conversations.”

But this is not simply a issue of younger people not having an awareness of the importance of privacy. A May 20th article in the Canadian Toronto Star reports on two senior executives who were fired over misuse of social media that may have revealed company secrets. The same article reported that in 2011 “42% of companies said they had to take disciplinary action, because of social media misuse compared to 24% in 2009.”

The implications of these conclusions are staggering and point to a need for organizations concerned about access to sensitive information to create a formal social media policy for employees. It is also a warning to the exhibition industry to ensure that what is broadcast does not infringe on exhibitors’ need for privacy.

I can see how the development of a social media policy is relatively straight forward when it applies to employees, but how do we restrict exhibitors and attendees at a trade fair?

Has anyone run into a problem with sensitive materials being leaked onto social media? If so, what have you done about it?



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