Last week I wrote about the double edged sword that is enterprise 2.0. This week I will look at how our major telecommunications provider manages to safely sheath this sword and harness its power.
Telstra is the largest telecommunications provider in Australia with more than 13.8 million mobile subscribers and 2.6 million fixed broadband subscriptions. Telstra offers a range of services from the aforementioned to being among the first to offer 4G internet, home media solutions such as the T-box, website creation to just about every other conceivable internet / telecommunications service available.
Telstra has a large twitter presence as well as about 150,000 likes on Facebook through which they actually respond to customer questions, complaints and enquiries. A live chat service was recently launched through a partnership with Facebook where support is available 24/7 for “customers querying billing or looking to setup new accounts” clearly recognizing that customers often need questions answered outside of business hours.
By utilising a proprietary social networking tool in house Telstra are able to gather mass knowledge and provide employees with an opportunity to communicate in a less formal manner wherever they are in the country.
With great power comes great responsibility…
Ok so in summary, Telstra is huge. They are switched on about social networking and actively utilse it both internally and externally. They have a responsibility to themselves, their customers, and their investors to utilise social media carefully.
So what legal risks could they face? For Starters:
Loss and Disclosure of Confidential Information
The sheer number of Telstra customers means that a whole lot of people have displayed licenses for identification, banks statements for proof of residency and an array of medicare cards and other official documentation to make up the points required to prove identification. This information is stored internally on a Telstra database.
Clearly none of this information should ever be disclosed on any social media platform for any reason. It is better to outlaw it all together than to be selective and make a mistake that could be extremely costly.
Organisation’s liability for employee acts of defamation
Telstra actually assigns people to utilize social media tools as part of their jobs and because of this may be held liable for the behavior of those employees on said platforms. This is an area that Telstra takes extremely seriously basing much of its social media usage policy around the three R’s – Representing, Responsibility and Respect.
Telstra should leave absolutely no room for any employees to be anything bar professional, friendly and courteous in their demeanour. Information provided to the public must be accurate and current.