Social Media and Networking Compliance


When you think of advertising, do you include social media?

These days, most of you do!

However, social media compliance - which I shall call "SMC" - is a considerable undertaking, far more involved than just issuing a policy and procedure. Often, implementing SMC includes working with internet technology and information security professionals, collaborating with sales, compliance, legal, marketing, and human resources personnel, and ensuring that virtually all employees understand their own obligations with respect to using internet communications.

We have drafted SMC policy statements that call for constant vigilance by management and appointed staff to monitor for and find the appropriate remedies to transgressions relating to use of a company's name, logo, products, and services, in casual and even formal social media interactions.

Recently, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) issued a request for comments, entitled Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance ("Notice"). FFIEC issued this notice on behalf of its six members, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC); the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); the CFPB (collectively, the "Agencies"); and the State Liaison Committee (SLC). Succinctly put, whatever the federal agencies eventually adopt, the states will issue the final guidance as a supervisory guidance not only to the institutions that are, by extension, under its supervision but also through the State Liaison Committee, thereby encouraging state regulators to adopt the guidance.

This means that institutions will be expected to use the forthcoming guidance in their efforts to ensure that their policies and procedures provide oversight and controls commensurate with the risks posed by their social media activities. State agencies that adopt the guidance will expect the entities that they regulate to use the guidance in their efforts to ensure that their risk management and consumer protection practices adequately address the compliance and reputation risks raised by activities conducted via social media.

In this article, I will consider certain features of FFIEC's social media Notice as well as some important subjects to be addressed in constructing an SMC policy and procedure.



Defining Social Media

Use of Social Media

Risks of Social Media

Risk Management

Risk Areas

Laws and Regulations

Major Risks

Policy and Procedures


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