Privacy Management Theory and Social Media
How do you manage your privacy on Facebook? Do you keep everything completely private from everyone other than your friends? Do you filter our certain information from family in case they find out something about you that you’d rather they didn’t? With so much of our lives being spent online engaging in social media, how do we draw the lines between private and public?
Privacy Management Theory offers a system that identifies five basic suppositions about privacy
1. Private Information
2. Private Boundaries
3. Control and Ownerships
4. Rule Base Management System
5. Management Dialectics
All of these work together to outline how individuals coordinate boundaries between what is private and what isn’t. For many people in business, this is one of the main issues with using social media. At what stage does the private become public and how do you monitor this?
From a business perspective it is imperative that you are open with your clients to help establish a community with them and a sense of respect and engagement. However, there are clearly certain parts of the company that you don’t wish to have in the public domain.
Many clients ask us where they should draw the line and it’s here that it’s fundamental to have a clear set of guidelines within your company that fully outline the rights and wrongs of disclosure. Remember, an integral part of privacy management theory is that people all have different acceptance levels of disclosure. One individual in your company may think it’s perfectly fine to advertise on Facebook that the staff we all at their weekly drinking session on Friday night and may think that this is showing a human aspect to your business. You however may greatly disagree with this and think it’s completely unacceptable to discuss what goes on outside of business hours on any of your social media channels. This is where privacy management comes in.
Set out a clear set of guidelines explaining what can be done to protect yours and your company’s privacy online. Start out by explaining to your social media team what you expect and the privacy boundaries you have in place. This should help you avoid any nasty revelations further down the track.