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Technology Policies Run Amok

In the "stupid is as stupid does" category, Wired reports that companies are blocking access to blogs as part of their standard security policies:

…companies worry that employees might leak sensitive material — perhaps inadvertently — while posting comments to blog message boards. In a survey of over 300 large businesses conducted in conjunction with Forrester, Proofpoint found 57.2 percent of respondents were concerned with employees exposing sensitive material in blogs. That’s higher than the portion concerned with the risks of P2P networks.

Communicators need to get engaged in setting clear policies and communicating them. What is even more ludicrous is the suggestion that blogs be blocked for reasons of "productivity over security". Technology companies, like Proofpoint, that suggest this should spend more time on the productivity benefits and articulating a value proposition around that.

One Response

  1. By Mark Dill on October 24th, 2005 at 11:54 am

    I’m in the middle of revitalizing an Intranet for a large corporation. We have lots of discussions about content management as well as blogs and wikis. One of the reasons I’m here is that nothing is off the table. Effective companies will understand transparency or what I have called for years now an open system. You can’t be sloppy about these things, and everyone involved needs to understand that freedom demands responsibility. Think about this way. Employees that criticize their leadership in blogs aren’t saying anything they haven’t said in other conversations for years. It’s just now they have an unprecedented public forum. Professionalism will foster policy development. But the reality is that technology is enabling much deeper visibility to management and operations. Like every other pervasive technology change, people that embrace it prosper and those that think they are powerful enough to resist such advances will endure great pain. But just because something is new and different doesn’t mean those basic change management rules don’t apply. It just might mean a company’s executive team needs a history lesson.

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