Anyone who thinks their social media profiles and conversations are private or secure is naive.
Years ago, to combat terrorism, protect the homeland, and fight crime, the government realized it could download web pages, parse the information into vast data warehouses, and then develop reports based upon algorithms to identify (flag) potential conversations for human review.
In a nut shell, the government was basically downloading the entire internet. This was no easy feat, considering the expanse of the world wide web and its rate of growth. But downloading information is easy. And, so is parsing it. So this really wasn’t rocket science.
A few years later, those contractors that developed these systems realized the same concepts could be used to help corporations listen to conversations about their companies — and their competitors. And thus ushered in the current era of social media monitoring tools.
Is the government still listening? Yes. This blog post probably just got flagged. However, your competitors are listening too.
And soon, social media monitoring software will become so pervasive it will penetrate the holy grail – B2C – and you’ll be able to monitor and listen to yourself and your friends. Oh wait, you already can! That’s right, if a company wanted to know what their employees were doing or saying, they can easily do that now, for free – Google Alerts… or they can leverage the same software the enterprise uses.