Dr. Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I), and Clair Wilkinson, wrote a white paper about social media and the liability risks it poses:
Hundreds of millions of people interact on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and LinkedIn every day. Like any other new technology, social media brings enormous opportunities and benefits. The ability to communicate and interact instantaneously on a global scale 24/7 enables businesses to reach their customers directly and individuals to voice opinions on any topic they see fit.
Yet as the opportunity to tweet, message, share and “like” grows, so do the risks. As businesses and individuals navigate this shifting online risk landscape, they face a range of evolving social media related liabilities including privacy, security, intellectual property and employment practices liability.
Meanwhile, amid a rising number of high profile data breaches, government is stepping up its scrutiny of cyber security. This is leading to increased calls for legislation and regulation, placing the burden on companies to demonstrate that the information provided by customers and clients is properly safeguarded online.
Despite the fact that cyber risks and cyber security are widely acknowledged to be a serious threat, a majority of companies today still do not purchase cyber liability insurance. However, research indicates that this is changing. Insurance has a key role to play as companies and individuals look to better manage and reduce their potential financial losses from social media and cyber risks in future.
To get a complete report of the white paper from the I.I.I., please Download Social Media, Liability and Insurance (PDF)