Making the Most of the Media: The Regulator's Relationship with Social and Traditional Media

Raleigh, N.C.  |  April 25, 2013

Click on a speaker's name to download the PowerPoint handouts

Welcome from CLEAR President Michelle Pedersen

Keynote, Benjamin Wright, Attorney, SANS Institute Instructor: Law of Data Security & Investigations
“Technology Is Shaking Up the Regulation Business”

Society is undergoing rapid change on account of technology.  New methods of communication and record-keeping – including social media like Facebook, mobile apps on devices like iPhones and search engines that can uncover piles of personal information – are growing.  At the same time, traditional media, like newspapers, the postal service and paper file cabinets are shrinking.  These changes have profound implications for government regulators.  To remain relevant and effective, regulators must change today and prepare for much greater change tomorrow.  In his keynote address, Mr. Wright will offer insights on:

* Examples of government keeping pace with technology change
* Risks for regulatory authorities as they translate old practices into the modern setting
* Working with traditional media as they themselves evolve into something new
* Regulators learning to exploit technology to get more done on a tight budget

Morning panel 

Benjamin Wright, Attorney, SANS Institute Instructor: Law of Data Security & Investigations
Like everyone else in society today, licensed professionals use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and many others.  They or their friends and family can reveal a great deal of information . . . statements, images, videos, geolocation coordinates . . . which can be relevant to an official investigation by a regulatory board.  In this presentation, Mr. Wright will consider the legal, ethical and practical issues when a regulatory board goes to social or other online media to gather investigative evidence.  Mr. Wright will explain 

*  leading legal cases on the collection and use of evidence from social media
*  legal and ethical risks that an official investigator faces when working in social media
*  ideas for reducing or coping with risk
*  practical techniques for preserving reliable records that could be used later in official hearings or lawsuits
*  practical suggestions for finding and managing the evidence you need
*  how to position your board strategically in case you need to pursue further legal action against a licensee, such as a lawsuit

Jim Wilson, attorney, North Carolina
This presentation will cover topics such as

* judicial recognition of evolving norms regarding professionals' use of social media
* the ways social media become of interest in disciplinary proceedings and a few examples of each
* standards promulgated by professional groups
* the law and ethics of obtaining social media data for use in disciplinary cases

Amigo Wade, Senior Attorney, Principal, Virginia Division of Legislative Services
Government agencies must resist the temptation to embrace new technologies without a thorough review of the risks associated with adopting the new technology and ensuring continued compliance with existing constitutional and statutory mandates. The decision to embrace any new technology should be a risk-based decision, not a technology-based decision. An agency or board should perform a comprehensive review of its operations weighing the benefits of using the technology against the risks and responsibilities of the agency. This review should include five key components: (i) the agency's mission, (ii) existing constitutional and statutory mandates, (iii) possible threats, (iv) technical capabilities, and (v) potential benefits. This presentation will touch on the appropriate use of email and social media in a regulatory board's operations including rule-making and general interaction with citizens and the regulatory community. 

Afternoon panel

Joseph Neff, reporter, News and Observer
As a reporter at The News & Observer, Joseph Neff has covered various regulatory agencies, including the N.C. State Bar and the N.C. Medical Board. He will discuss several case studies from his perspective as someone employed to act as the eyes and ears of the public.
(Presentation does not include PowerPoint handouts.)

Amigo Wade, Senior Attorney, Principal, Virginia Division of Legislative Services
The presentation will cover two basic blocks of subject matter.  The first will cover (i) the role of media, (ii) understanding the types of media, and (iii) what motivates media.  The purpose of this information block is to provide some ground level understanding. The second block will cover the general topic of dealing with the media. This block will focus on (i) the different circumstances in which we as agency personnel may have to deal with media outlets, (ii) the importance of developing a key, central message when dealing with media outlets, (iii) building good media relationships, and (iv) pointers on conducting interviews.

David Swankin, President, Citizen Advocacy Center
David Swankin will share with attendees the highlights of a Citizen Advocacy Center (CAC) meeting in Washington DC held on April 9-10, 2013, just two weeks before the Raleigh meeting. The meeting covered public outreach by health licensing boards and by national health voluntary certification organizations to inform the public about the significance of licensing and certification and the work done by regulatory and certifying bodies. The second topic covered how websites can be effective in informing the public about what regulators and certifiers do and in helping consumers navigate the regulatory board’s various resources available to the public.
(Presentation does not include PowerPoint handouts.)

Breakout groups sessions

Closing remarks


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