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28 When government uses social media simply to disseminate Unless you protect your updates, messages you post on Twitter and information, the impacts on individual privacy are minimal. received by the Agency may be public records and may also be publicly available... . Also note that this micro-blog is hosted by However, when public agencies invite online citizen inter- Twitter and is governed by Twitter's separate website policies, action through comments or posts, then those citizens are including its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. These policies potentially sharing information about themselves and all apply to your use of Twitter (49). their friends with the government agency. Of course, any social media user can take steps to modify the privacy settings The Commonwealth's online disclaimer includes links to on a particular application, but the steps to do so vary among Twitter's privacy policy and terms of service. applications and many users simply accept the default settings. To protect individual privacy, panelists made the following Changing Social Media Landscape recommendations: "Agencies should limit the personal infor- mation they collect through social media to that which is The clear consensus is that social media are here to stay. The absolutely necessary, and should provide strong opportunities challenge for transit properties is to keep track of changes for individuals to exercise choice about how agencies use the in this dynamic environment and to adapt accordingly. Survey personal information they submit." respondents were asked what social media developments they anticipated over the next several years. Although many reported St. Louis Metro Transit posts a privacy policy on its short-term goals for their own agencies, such as increased use NextStop agency blog that describes how the agency collects of YouTube or additional staff training, others addressed their and treats personally identifiable information when individuals response to industry trends. Examples include: post comments on the blog or sign up as members. The policy reads, in part: We hope to be involved in location-based games such as Foursquare. When you register as a NextStop Site Member, we ask for More developments in location-based marketing and information such as your name, e-mail address, birth date, gender, ZIP code, occupation, industry, and personal interests. We revenue generation ideas. may use this information for blog-related purposes and other More seamless ways to integrate social media into the purposes, including sending email updates to you with transit existing system. A bigger base as more and more riders advocacy action items, or potentially providing the information realize transit agencies' presence in social media. I also to a third party for transit advocacy purposes only... . You can be confident that we do not sell or exchange names or any other see social media accounts replacing the website as the information about our Site Members with third parties for "go-to" hub for organizational information. commercial purposes or anything other than transit advocacy "Customers will be using mobile devices more than ever: purposes (47). their social networking activity will adapt accordingly. Other than that it's not for us to say: our job is to deliver Federal websites are required to conduct a privacy impact good transportation service and communicate with our assessment if they collect personally identifiable information customers well, not to develop social media products!" and to post a privacy policy on their website. Third-party social media websites are exempt from these rules, but the General Not surprisingly, industry experts anticipate continued Services Administration's social media policy requires the growth of social media and predict widespread mainstream agency to protect personally identifiable information on exter- acceptance. Already, observers are seeing the impact of nal social media websites (35). growth in tablet computers, smart phones and other mobile devices, third-party applications, location-based technology, Although nonfederal organizations are not bound by these and social-buying services such as Groupon and LivingSocial. requirements, government agencies are urged to post a dis- Membership in Capital Bikeshare, the bicycle-sharing pro- claimer on their social media pages. The disclaimer would gram in Washington, D.C., almost doubled overnight when remind users that they are not visiting an official government the program partnered with LivingSocial to offer coupons for website and that the application's privacy policy applies; a discounted membership. Privacy will continue to be a concern, link to the third-party privacy policy could be provided as well especially as applications facilitate information sharing among (48). For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts users. As the industry matures, several analysts see a greater takes this approach and includes the following information emphasis on performance measures and return on investment, about Twitter in its social media policy: including industry-wide metrics and standards (5053).