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Although websites such as Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn can help make a business more successful, insurers, producers and other insurance entities need to protect themselves from the many risks social media can pose by creating and enforcing an effective social-media policy.

PRIVACY AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CONCERNS

The consumer’s right to privacy is a paramount issue for insurance companies subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, among other federal and state laws. Insurers and producers need to carefully consider how personally identifiable information may be intentionally, or even unintentionally, collected about insureds and consumers through the use of social-media platforms; how this information will be managed; and what controls are in place to assure that this information is not publicly disclosed.

While it often may be overlooked, the opposite also holds true. Insurance organizations should ensure that their employees and representatives are not disclosing too much information about their company or compromising their company’s intellectual property rights on social-media sites. Companies may lose their proprietary trade secret or confidentiality rights depending upon the information they make publicly available.

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