Privacy Must be Considered When Using Web 2.0 Tools

Published, November 1, 2008

Privacy TipAs outlined in a recently published memo, the Department of the Navy endorses the secure use of Web 2.0 tools to enhance collaboration, streamline processes and foster productivity.

These tools, as described in the memo "Web 2.0: Utilizing New Web Tools" include wikis, blogs, mash ups, web feeds (such as, Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds), and forums, which are often referred to as components of “Web 2.0.” Use of these tools supports our goals of achieving an interoperable, net-centric environment by improving the warfighter’s effectiveness through seamless access to critical information. Additionally, Web 2.0 tools are considered morale enhancing and are quickly becoming the social norm. Web 2.0 tools enable widely dispersed commands and personnel to more effectively collaborate and share information. Commands are encouraged to use Web 2.0 tools.

While Web 2.0 tools are very useful, consideration must be given to privacy issues associated with information content and information sharing. Commands are responsible for monitoring and maintaining web content. Users are responsible for posting and using content in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and privacy policy as set forth by Department of Defense and DON. Personally identifiable information (PII) must be restricted to those personnel who have a need to know and be properly safeguarded. PII that is not restricted can result in a breach and upon discovery, must be reported within one hour IAW the DON CIO breach policy. Loss, theft or compromise of PII is also subject to the guidelines set forth in the Privacy Act (PA) of 1974.

For privacy questions regarding Web 2.0 tools, contact Steve Muck, DON CIO Privacy Team Lead.

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