General Thoughts and Rambles, Information Exchange, Situational Awareness

Information Sharing – A New Liability?

I keep hearing discussions about the potential liability of sharing information. There is a concern that sharing something with someone else can expose a liability. In the public safety and Emergency management space this perceived liability comes up a lot.

This concern gets mentioned with respect to social media in particular but it applies to private sharing too.

I agree that there are definitely some issues with sharing information. When you share information, you need to make sure, to the best of your abilities under the situation that you are operating in, that what you share is accurate, timely, and relevant for your recipients. That applies whether you are sharing privately or publicly. So, if you have handled these criteria, and you have authority to release information why wouldn’t you?

Well, you’re likely paranoid about the aforementioned liability. But let me throw this prediction out:

At some point liability will lie upon a group that had information, could have shared it (it was accurate, timely, relevant, within their mandate, etc.) – but DID NOT. I really think that liability due to failure to share will be a tipping point for many organizations. Once someone is taken down for failing to share the reticence will drop and we’ll all be looking for the guidance on how we can share better – not whether we should share.

I’ll reiterate my blog disclaimer that my opinions are mine – not my customer’s. That being said I’m working with leaders across Canada and around the world to make sure that when everyone is ready to share we will have some structured guidance on how it should be done…

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