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FINRA Issues Guidelines for Social Media

What happens when an investor "friends" his broker or agent and they use Facebook chat or e-mail to discuss account activities

Irwin Lazar

January 28, 2010

1 Min Read

What happens when an investor "friends" his broker or agent and they use Facebook chat or e-mail to discuss account activities? This sort of scenario sends shivers through the spine of those responsible for compliance in the financial services sector. We've seen a huge market develop around compliance enforcement for e-mail and IM, now those same concerns are extending into the social space.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, issued new guidelines this week designed to help financial firms balance the need to enter the social world with the need to meet electronic records retention rules. The problem for enforcement managers so far has been the lack of tools. While companies such as Facetime Communications have introduced social site enforcement gateways, it remains difficult to cover all the bases as social sites rapidly grow. Ultimately the heart of any successful compliance strategy is user training and a solid acceptable use policy for those accessing social sites. Financial firms would be wise to carefully read FINRA's recommendations and proactively take measure to limit their risk.

About the Author(s)

Irwin Lazar

Vice President & Service Director, Nemertes Research

Irwin Lazar is the Vice President and Service Director at Nemertes Research, where he manages research operations, develops and manages research projects, conducts and analyzes primary research, and advises numerous enterprise and vendor clients. Irwin is responsible for benchmarking the adoption and use of emerging technologies in areas including VOIP, UC, video conferencing, social computing, collaboration, contact center and customer engagement.

A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and sought-after speaker and author, Irwin is a blogger for No Jitter and frequent author for SearchUnifiedCommunications.com. He is a frequent resource for the business and trade press and is regular speaker at events such as Enterprise Connect and Interop. Irwin's earlier background was in IP network architecture, design and engineering.

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