This is not an unfamiliar concern.
With all of this informal communication swirling within blogs, Twitter and other social networks.. how does one contain the private, trade secret information of a business?
The problem of losing trade secrets is as old as business itself. In a Wall Street Journal article published January 11, 1999, Rachel Emma Silverman cites examples from as early as 552, when the Byzantine Empire stole silkworms, mulberry leaves, and know-how from a Chinese silk factory. As she pointed out, “although industrial espionage occurred before this millennium began, it has become increasingly common in the past 500 years—when there have been many more secrets worth stealing.”
Businesses are already acutely aware that in order to engage in business partnerships, start a company, or build one’s business, some information has to be disclosed. There is usually a dance then between the sales and marketing team and the company attorney(s) to determine what exactly is classified as trade secret and what is not. If this has not happened yet in your organization, I HIGHLY recommend it. 🙂
Most printed materials are easily handled with “Confidential” disclosures at the bottom of each page. Secret chemical formulas, engineering plans and designs are often locked up and secured when their very existence provides your company with significant market advantage.
So, how does one secure these informal 140 character tweets and employee blog posts? I’ll give you a few of my thoughts,and then I ask you for yours.
OK, so now that I have suggested the “lock-down” techniques, how does a business then actively and freely participate in social network building?
Have you had any business train wrecks due to the use of Social Media? Have you ever opened your kimono too far? I am interested in what you have to say as these sort of dialogues can prove helpful to many.
editors note: At no time in this blog did I disclose any proprietary, sensitive or trade secret information. Any sharing, rebroadcast, Digging, or Re-Tweeting of this blog is encouraged.