back to article RBS promises 'safe, secure, confidential' info-sharing on Facebook at Work

RBS has inked a deal with Facebook to allow its 100,000 bank employees to use the free content ad network's Facebook at Work product. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed by the companies. The bank's surprise decision to opt for a service that is still in its infancy will no doubt raise eyebrows among some, …

  1. Efros

    Let me get this right

    "Information shared on the site will be safe, secure and confidential."

    On a site run by FB and within a Bank, OK that's good enough for me... or maybe not.

  2. Christopher Lane

    Oh...what could go wrong...

    'Nuff said...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So by inference this is where the TalkTalk security engineer went to work after he'd set up their secure unencrypted databases.

    Proof that executives will believe any old shite spoken to them by a slick patter-merchant.

  4. g00se

    What could possibly go wrong?

    I wonder what the nature of the information likely to be circulated only amongst employees of a bank on a social networking app could be? Obviously nothing sensitive ...

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      I wonder what's stopping employees copy and pasting my details from their systems on to their Facebook?

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. bigtimehustler

      Much like you have no choice about what other crap software a company chooses to use, you have no choice. It is a companies prerogative to decide what you use to do your job and your free to find another one. The same as any other software. They are not enforcing you use facebook socially yourself, just for sharing withing the organisation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thanks for pointing that out. We had no idea.

    2. BlartVersenwaldIII
      IT Angle

      1980s_coder unbellyfeel so shall meeja! It's not that it's be made obligatory - that would be stupid. But we're just going to make the service so awesome to use that anyone not using it will be left in the dust!

      > Sorry - you require 17 Likes in order to allow this change to occur, please add some more friends!

      > Our performance monitoring platform noticed you only made an average of six posts and nine likes a week on other people's workflows, grade capped at C.

      > Your documentation album contains 57,897 words but only 79 pictures. No-one likes to read all that so get snapping!

      > Seven of your colleagues at Mandatory Happiness Corporate Knees-Up 2015 are as-yet unidentified, please look at these photos and link up to the right profiles! We remind you that allowing unauthorised personnel into corporate events is a tort-crime and if these potential criminals have not been identified by the end of the week then we are under obligations to perform a security audit on your departments.

      Joking aside... precisely what problem is a social platform inside the workplace trying to solve? I've seen plenty of attempts at doing this sort of thing in the past, and no matter how well or how badly designed these things are they're only ever solely used for a) the CIO/CTO/CFO fluff-pieces b) job ads from HR c) bitching about $ENDEMIC_PROBLEM before posts about such things get stamped on by HR and d) tumbleweed storage.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        e) circulating memos about covers for TPS reports

      2. htq

        Been there...

        My previous company produced and sold their own @Work Social platform. IT bods were tasked with "championing" the cause. Part of our annual objective was to increase our PQ score by more than 5 points. PQ = no one's really sure what it is since the "secret sauce" is a company secret.

        Anyhow I did my part and only managed to increase my score by 3 points. Posting "work" related posts - like how working from home can be more productive, or why multi-tasking is not as efficient as you think you are. Alas those who post about "their gingerbread sculpture" or "last week's social do" got way more likes, comments and feedback and a higher PQ score.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can only say...


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another place I'll never want to work.

    Suffering the bloody Tibbr crap here with the in-house social workplace shite. Talk about selling the King some new clothes. One or two marinally useful bits but so completely buried by the management's public multiple orgasms and the stream of sycophantic twaddle, that the whole thing is a great reason to put down for leaving. Very anon.

  8. alain williams Silver badge


    It looks like some bean counting droid who thinks that RBS can save a few bob with not setting up an internal communications system by getting Farcebook to do it on the cheap. So, how long before:

    * Bank details are shared via facebook

    * Security secrets are shared

    * The NSA gets hold of this information

    * It leaks to people who use this information more publicly than the NSA does

    * Someone at RBS is quoted saying ''we will learn from our mistakes''


    1. g00se

      Re: Bonkers!

      Coming next - Facebook For Convicts

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Bonkers! / Le Livre des Visages

      "So, how long before:


      * The NSA gets hold of this information [...]"

      Oh, roughly about early last month, I'd say.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Maybe it's so they have something they can usewhenever the main RBS systems go TITSUP.

  10. Your alien overlord - fear me
    Thumb Up

    Desperate attempt by the IT staff for someone, anyone to Like them.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I assume this is an equivalent of Office 365 Sharepoint...

    Some sort of cloud based corporate "new media" intranet(extranet) sharing platform.

    Secure, separate from public facebook, it may be (for the purpose of argument), but I really can't see FB as sustaining this niche business.

    Unless this REALLY is an NSA backdoor to entire industrial sectors of course...

    1. Tony S

      Re: I assume this is an equivalent of Office 365 Sharepoint...

      I'd suggest that the direct comparison would be Microsoft's Yammer product. They are pushing it hard and I'm betting that someone at FB thought "we've got to have a slice of that pie".

      It does have some actual value, IF (and that's a pretty big if) the staff actually do make use of it. I have seen this done well on one occasion and it made a big difference to the way that people worked. But that was very much the exception and only because the company did not censor what people wrote in any way.

      Unfortunately, I have to agree with BlartVersenwaldIII that it will mostly probably be mainly self promotion by the marketing droids and CEO, or HR posting job ads to show that they are actually offering stuff in house.

  12. JakeMS


    Just... why? How is this in anyway going to be productive for them?

    If they said they were implementing a new internal database and structure with higher security to handle more bank customers - Yup okay that's useful and I could see the reasoning.

    If they said they were getting rid of all their Windows 2k servers and replacing with new - Yup okay perfectly reasonable.

    If they said they were implementing a new PBX system to handle more load - Yup okay.. can see that.

    But they said "We want our employees to be using Facebook at work!" - WTF? Why? What possible benefit can this truly have? Aside from opening a gaping big security hole (In the sense employees put bank details on Facebook accidentally on their public page.....).

    That and Facebook is nothing more than a distraction to pass time away really. I can't see a reason for it in a work place..

    Bet the guy pushing for this at the bank is addicted to Facebook and can't handle not being able to use it at work.. so wants the whole bank to use it so they can use it with an excuse.

    Maybe I just don't get it because I have never used Facebook? Am I behind the times? Maybe I'm the strange one? :-D.

  13. sysconfig


    "meaning information shared between RBS employees is only accessible to other colleagues within the bank"

    And Facebook itself. And by extension any law enforcement in the US.

    I know that Safe Harbour (and its failure) only affects transfer of individuals' data, but it clearly emphasizes that American companies cannot be trusted at the moment. (Not necessarily because of their wrongdoing, but because they cannot guarantee that Uncle Sam isn't going to demand a copy of the data. This may very well include FB-for-Biz conversations between RBS employees and whatever else the platform has to offer)

    Bottom line is: It is possibly the worst point in time to make such a bold* decision, while the effects of Safe Harbour's fall are not entirely clear. Common sense would dictate to hold off on such a deal for a bit.

    *the article called it bold; I'd call it ignorant and stupid

    Edit: I'm wondering if RBS are doing this right now, because FB paid them to get a foot into the door of serious business?

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Load of B.S.

      So you'll have seen the article on the RBS Intranet that pretty much says exactly the same is this article?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. msknight Silver badge

    Hang on a minute.

    Has anyone told RBS that Facebook employs filters to stop people getting deluged with posts that IT THINKS they don't need to see?

    I smell a disaster in the offing.

    "Didn't you get the memo?"

    "No. What memo."

    "It was posted on Facebook for everyone to see."


    1. Justicesays

      Re: Hang on a minute.

      To be fair, some people are just hard to inform of things.

      Used to regularly have conversations like:

      Dev: Whats wrong with the servers? Are they broken? Can you fix them?

      Me: We have shut them down, there is a building wide power outage and generator test this evening.

      Dev: I didn't hear about that! I have $IMPORTANT_STUFF I need to do.

      Me: We sent an email, 3 weeks ago, and reminders every week after that. And a reminder this morning. And we left a note on everyone's desk last week. And there was a sign on the door this morning when you came in.


  16. Wommit

    So, where are the servers located? Or has FB lent RBS the code so they can host it themselves. Umm... I thought not.

    The RBS Senior (snigger) management don't seem to have read the news about the safe harbour agreement collapse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They didn't get the memo...

      :) See above

    2. noboard

      which is why they need a shiny new system, so they can keep up to date with all this news

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or perhaps...

      They did get the memo.

      Though they say to expect stupidity over malice, but what do we expect when greed is involved?

  17. Stevie Silver badge


    Checkout what derivatives are doing! Totes insanity lmao.

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