BT is warning the growth of web 2.0 technologies is set to cause growing unease in the corporate world.

The willingness of today’s younger generation to share information on blogs and social networking sites is making corporations nervous about confidential information finding its way, via the internet, into the public domain. Meanwhile, applicants looking for jobs are worried that views posted online could be held against them by potential employers carrying out a simple internet search of their name.

“Web 2.0 technologies have the potential to enable businesses to collaborate more quickly, more creatively and more effectively than ever before,” said Ray Stanton, global head of the BT business continuity, security and governance practice.

Bruce Schneier, founder and chief technical officer of BT Counterpane, speaking at Infosecurity Europe 2007 recently, said: “These opportunities will only be seized if the businesses of today learn to embrace them. At the moment there is a climate of fear – Web 2.0 has caused the biggest generation divide since Rock ’n’ Roll.”

However, despite this analysis, Schneier and Stanton went on to outline a three-step plan to help businesses deal with the realities of the web 2.0-driven world.
The first step is concerned with behaviour – organisations must educate their users about what does and doesn’t constitute acceptable usage of web 2.0 technologies.

Step two is related to technology aimed at limiting the availability and lifespan of posts. For example, software that allows users to limit who has access to their blogs and personal web pages will become more effective and more widely available.

The third step is for organisations to be foresighted enough to understand that web 2.0 technologies are here to stay. Fighting them is futile – instead, successful companies will be those that find ways to integrate and take advantage of them, BT advised.