Transparent access to people and information is Enterprise 2.0’s great promise. It’s tempered, however, by a privacy risk that is especially sensitive in the European Union, where social profiles and other content are subject to privacy laws and regulations.
A new white paper by Carl Frappaolo of The 2.0 Adoption Council addresses this dilemma head on. Drawing on interviews with six prominent companies, it offers the following findings:
- Corporate culture matters: The urgency of privacy concern depends to some degree on a company’s locale and vertical industry, but its corporate culture exerts the greatest effect on its perspective.
- The virtual world complicates: Although privacy is regulated at a regional and local level, the virtual world created through modern technology poses many vexing questions. National and corporate lines are becoming blurred, making some existing laws dated.
- Data is a personal asset: The social and personal data associated with Enterprise 2.0 should be viewed as a personal asset and thus shared only under the strict control of each individual.
- Security-based technology and features are far behind access and collaboration features in Enterprise 2.0 products.
- Opt-in functionality is a popular and a somewhat simple way to handle many data privacy concerns, but it is not a panacea. Many challenges are associated with how specifically to utilize opt-in.
“In order to remain competitive but also compliant, European organizations, and global organizations with offices in Europe, need to balance knowledge access and social computing with privacy,” writes Frappaolo. “The focus of this report is this very issue, and how organizations that have been successful with Enterprise 2.0 initiatives have dealt with privacy issues, using not just a single approach but a range of approaches.”