Monday, October 25, 2010, 10/25/2010 11:15:00 AM

Social Media and Trade Secrets – Time to Panic?

From London’s Daily Mail, the story, almost obligatory in some respects, about some “top German firms” banning Facebook and Twitter in the workplace on grounds, in part, that employees “could give away trade secrets” through social media.

According to the story, a majority of the German firms in the DAX 30, including VW and Porsche, are banning access because of fears of industrial espionage.

As with most stories that fall into this category, there is not a single example of trade secrets being lost through use of social media, although one computer security expert is quoted saying “'Before it was email that was the favorite gateway for damaging software - today it is social networks.” Again, though, no actual instances are cited.

Expect to see these fears -- founded or unfounded -- spread beyond Germany.

So, is it time to panic? Only if that’s what you are paid to do.


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