Organisations demand effective communication as a basic principle of business. Employees expect clarity of vision and direction from their Managing Director, CEO or line manager. In turn, senior management requires clear and concise reporting from their teams. This is nothing new, but how this information is shared has changed dramatically. Technology advances have enabled CEOs to communicate with their teams via video, online chatrooms, podcasts, as often as they wish no matter where they are in the world. The same applies to employees - both in their role and as individuals sharing their working day experiences on their social networking profiles. As use of these channels and platforms grows and evolves, challenges occur. What started as amazing tools to speed up and ease the sharing of information inspired thousands of us to do just that - share. Unfortunately, we often shared too much or shared what 'seemed like a good idea at the time'. The wonders of technology also mean that we now have a permanent record of all this information. The issue is often that so do our current and future employers.

In today's news the European Court has backed the 'right to be forgotten' and has stated that search engines such as Google must delete 'inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant' data from its search results if requested by a member of the public. This ruling marks a change in how individuals - and in turn organisations - now view the use and power of social media based technology providers.

At thefuturestory - Today 2014 event last week, our panel of experts gave a fascinating insight into the the impact of data, the web and social media on communications. From open data supporters, corporate representatives, through to personal data ownership advocates the day was filled with passionate conversations that discussed issues of Trust, Legal protection and Data privacy.

Julian Ranger from SocialSafe gave a very clear insight into what personal data includes (social media posts, phone records, insurance claims, bank account information, etc.) and the potential future where individuals take back control from organisations of their online self.

Declan Trezise from Monster.com also explained the positive aspects of online data sharing to match the right people to the right jobs on a huge scale, helping individuals to find employment that will motivate and engage them and in turn help to drive the economic uplift.

The importance of organisations maintaining a positive Employer Brand that truly reflects their mission, vision and values and really resonates with future candidates and existing employees became obvious when considered against the backdrop of an improving economy where recruitment requirements will start to increase and put a strain on under-resourced HR departments.

We have also all heard stories about individual's social media profiles being seen by prospective employers and negatively impacting the employers view of that candidate. Up until now, removing that sort of information has been difficult if not impossible for individuals.

Justice Minister Simon Hughes is quoted as saying:

We want to see EU data protection legislation that protects privacy and helps people take control of their data while making sure businesses of all sizes are able to grow and innovate.

In an insightful comment from Jemima Kiss in today's Guardian she acknowledges that:

The disruptive impact of new technologies is profound - affecting how we work, learn, travel and, crucially, how we communicate and relate to the world.

The need for effective communication has never been so important in our digital world where anyone with a smartphone has the ear of the world. Human nature means there will always be things that we want to forget. The current challenge will be how can individuals and organisations ensure they are known for the right reasons.

If you'd like to find out more about how organisations across a range of sectors are addressing these challenges, do check out our thefuturestory articles where we will continue to share best practice and useful information resources to help you manage your story online.

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