The majority of organizations utilize social media to market their products and services, interact with consumers, and manage their brand identity. Many mobile applications and websites even permit users to sign-in with their social media accounts to purchase items or use the applications’ services.

While using third party social media websites has significant advantages for businesses, it also raises distinct privacy concerns. Specifically, the terms of use that apply to social media platforms may give the platform the right to share, use, or collect information concerning your business or your customers. To the extent that the social media platform’s privacy practices are not consistent with the practices of your own organization, they may contradict or violate the privacy notice that you provide to the public. The following provides a snapshot of information concerning social media privacy.


Percentage of Fortune 500 companies on Facebook.1


Percentage of Fortune 500 companies with a corporate presence on LinkedIn.2


Percentage of online adults using social networking sites.3

500 Million

Number of accounts stolen in Yahoo’s 2014 data breach.4

What to consider when evaluating your organization’s use of social media:

  1. How would a data breach of social media platforms affect your organization? Do you have a plan if your social media account is breached?
  2. Does your organization share information with an intermediate service provider, such as a social media analytics company, to provide or analyze social media services?
  3. Is your internal data or customer personal information protected under your agreements with third parties, including social media platforms?
  4. What types of customer personal information are solicited, collected, maintained, or disseminated via your social media platforms (g., geo-location)?