In September 2010, Ovum stated in an Asian e-Marketing article that the risk of sensitive information being divulged on the web by organizations makes regulation a necessary evil.

According to the independent telecoms analyst, regulations need to be put in place to ensure that information is used appropriately, especially in the field of social media, when public and private sectors respond increasingly to customer queries and complaints via tools such as Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, Ovum suggested to monitor peer to peer support conducted via social media and to ensure that customers do not unintentionally pass on incorrect information.

The financial services industry has already made it a requirement that communications through social media are recorded and retained, Ovum stated, and recommends that all organizations that use social media to interact with customers should be regulated.

“While social media should still allow customers to interact and express themselves, we believe that they need to be protected from having sensitive information spread on the Internet by staff who may not understand how to treat such enquiries. For these reasons, we believe regulations are a necessary evil”, Ovum believes, and advises companies to stop experimenting with social media and finalize formal strategies and guidelines in place.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but how would the Internet really look like if there are national authorities that protect users from prying people – whoever it may be?

What implications could we expect?

Drafting legislation that effectively polices today's technologies while remaining general enough to apply to new emerging technologies will be an almost impossible balancing act. Internet users simply enjoy, in general, the freedom of the Internet too much – which would be jeopardized with regulations.

Aren’t we already at the point where the Internet crowd is actually screaming too loud for getting even more control over how their personal information is collected and distributed online?

Self-regulation is definitely the way to go as history has proved the fact that when you regulate one area, another area of opportunity opens, so the issue will never be fully resolved, don’t you think?

Please do write me your thoughts!

By Daniela La Marca