Companies responsible for social media content

Municipalities, public authorities and companies who use blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools have a responsibility for personal data published on the sites, a new report from the Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen - DI) has concluded.

Companies responsible for social media content

“We recommend agencies, municipalities and businesses that use social media set clear rules and internal procedures such as what a Facebook page will be used for, what may happen there and how it should be managed by the organisation’s responsible administrators,” said DI’s director-general Göran Gräslund in a statement.

DI’s project on social media has concluded that those organizations behind the sites should have procedures in place to remove personal information, and other comments that may be deemed offensive. The same applies to responsibility for a blog.

“They have a responsibility to remove offensive comments – even those that others have written,” said Ulrika Andersson, the project leader of DI’s social media project. “Seeing that they have set up Facebook pages, they also decide the purpose of the pages, decide what they are for and can remove users and the messages.”

An increasing number of municipalities, public authorities and companies use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other forms of social media as communication channels.

DI’s project has examined their use and performed inspections at Katrineholm municipality, Tivoli Gröna Lund and the Work Environment Agency (Arbetsmiljöverket).

The board has meanwhile not actually found any offensive messages through its inspection, but points out that it is good to work preventively in using blogs and Facebook pages, for example, by providing information to users.

DI plans to develop a guide on how to deal with personal information when using social media as communication channels.

The Data Inspection Board is a public authority tasked with the protection of the individual’s privacy in the information society without unnecessarily preventing or complicating the use of new technology.

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