Periscope and Meerkat – New Dangers of Live Streaming


Meerkat, a new social networking app, gained traction and popularity at the South by Southwest film festival and conference (SXSW), and not long after, Twitter announced a similar app called Periscope. In the Periscope app, users can rummage through random live streams, letting the user experience the view from the Empire State building, traffic in Los Angeles, a family eating breakfast, and many other live streams.

This new age of social media raises several privacy concerns. Periscope posts the user’s broadcast data publicly by default. According to their privacy policy, “This includes the metadata provided with your broadcast, such as when and where you broadcast.” Another concern comes with the feature of uploading the video to Twitter for 24 hours, moving past the ‘live stream’ aspect.

The implications for organizations can be even more dramatic, and create a new headaches for Privacy Officers. With the ease of use in the workplace, there are streams on Periscope of call centers communicating with clients, employees broadcasting their computer screens, and streams of patients in health care facilities. The potential for sensitive information to be exposed is endless.

With the continued growth of social media, users are not only sharing more information about themselves, but also personal data of others – which could put organizations at risk.

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