Word to the wise: oversharing has its price. And if you're in a position of responsibility in a large company, consider yourself on notice that you're being watched by your competitors. One example? Hewlett-Packard VP Scott McClellan who inadvertently tipped off competitors to HP's in-development cloud storage program.
A recent BusinessWeek article tells his tale, and walks us through the exact (and disturbingly easy) process by which companies currently use social media to spy on competitors.
Here's an example:
When one client asked Kroll to find out how a potential acquisition target got leaked to a competitor, investigators found a series of social media posts in which a member of the client’s mergers-and-acquisitions team publicly discussed doing diligence on a company in a specific city.
During a recent background check on someone whose company was being acquired by a private equity firm — a man in his mid-30s — Vale discovered numerous videos and online posts he created that raised additional questions and necessitated extra interviews with him.
Key takeaway? If you're on LinkedIn, then you're being monitored. If you're on Twitter, you're being followed. If you're on Facebook, you've got enemies amongst your friends.
Your privacy is your own responsibility -- shepherd it wisely.
Here are some educational links.
Facebook Privacy Scanner
Privacy vs Publicy
Why you shouldn't trust Facebook
They know who you are
How social media is changing us