Though a recent survey from Travelers’ global technology business unit found little concern among companies about potential harm to their employers caused by social networking, federal regulators, consumer representatives and others are stepping up to prevent misuse.

The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) says social networking has caused a convergence of rapidly escalating consumer protection and compliance-related challenges.

On Oct. 8, 2009, AARP and IMSA will convene social networking experts, state and federal regulators, consumer representatives, insurance agents, financial advisers and insurance companies to identify key issues in the insurance and financial services industries presented by the increasing use of Web sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking vehicles.

The AARP & IMSA Social Networking Summit: Consumer Protection & Compliance in an Online World will feature Joseph Price, chair of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) Social Networking Task Force, who will update attendees on FINRA's findings on these issues. Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith will provide a state regulatory perspective, and Kip Gregory, a specialist in teaching agents and advisers how to leverage technology effectively, will explain how social networking websites work in the insurance and financial services sectors, and how they are currently being used to attract new customers.

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