Social Media Raises Government Concerns

Federal officials are encouraging additional guidance to ensure the proper legal preservation of records generated by social media tools.

Because communications via blogs, wikis and social networks in many cases are considered federal records, they must be managed as such, according to federal officials from several agencies. The claims recently were made in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives.

According to a Government Accountability Office report released at the House hearing, 22 of 24 major federal agencies have a presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The National Archives and Records Administration will release updated guidance to agencies on how Web 2.0 platforms affect records management later this year. New policies also will include results of a study on how these tools aid mission-related functions.

Lawmakers also expressed concern about the privacy and security capabilities of Web 2.0 technology. According to GAO, agencies have limited control over the information third-party providers such as Facebook collect and also lack consistent guidance for how such data can be used in a government setting. Employees using these tools need additional rules and training, the report found.

Federal officials are encouraging additional guidance to ensure the proper legal preservation of records generated by social media tools.

Because communications via blogs, wikis and social networks in many cases are considered federal records, they must be managed as such, according to federal officials from several agencies. The claims recently were made in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives.

According to a Government Accountability Office report released at the House hearing, 22 of 24 major federal agencies have a presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The National Archives and Records Administration will release updated guidance to agencies on how Web 2.0 platforms affect records management later this year. New policies also will include results of a study on how these tools aid mission-related functions.

Lawmakers also expressed concern about the privacy and security capabilities of Web 2.0 technology. According to GAO, agencies have limited control over the information third-party providers such as Facebook collect and also lack consistent guidance for how such data can be used in a government setting. Employees using these tools need additional rules and training, the report found.

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