The convergence of technologies and the widespread adoption of social media by individuals, corporations and government has raised questions about privacy and security that have considerable social, legal and public policy implications. Can social media use lead to unwanted or inappropriate disclosure of personal information, negatively impacting on an individual’s ability to undertake certain government work such as undercover roles in police and intelligence agencies? Might revealing too much in one’s Facebook profile (or maybe even too little) damage professional reputation and career opportunities, with selection/promotion panels referring to social media profiles, bypassing merit selection methodology and anti-discrimination legislation? Is the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies by Australian corporations and government agencies creating new information security problems that outweigh the potential benefits of social media?
Effective identification and management of the privacy and security risks associated with using the different types of social media in a variety of contexts is essential to underpin the benefits that these technologies offer. Further research is needed before it can be determined whether a public policy response is required or indeed, whether a response can be effectively implemented given the speed at which these events are occurring.