October 08, 2009 14:10 ET

Social Networking Summit Meeting Today Addressed New Technology & Marketplace Standards

AARP-IMSA Host Summit on Escalating Consumer Protection & Compliance Challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C.--(Marketwire - October 8, 2009) - Social networking has caused a convergence of consumer protection and compliance-related challenges which are rapidly escalating. At today's Social Networking Summit -- Consumer Protection & Compliance in an Online World in Washington D.C., AARP and IMSA convened 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 websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking vehicles. Participants included representatives from FINRA, the SEC, and the CFTC.

In his opening remarks, AARP Executive Vice President and CCO Kevin Donnellan noted that, "People of all ages are using technology to change the way they get information. They are sharing information with their friends, colleagues and family." He added that, "The challenge for all of us is to analyze the risks and rewards of social networking and to develop a strategy that works best for consumers and for our organizations."

Joseph Price, Chair of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) Social Networking Task Force, updated attendees on FINRA's findings on these issues. "Investor protection is our first filter on all of these issues," said Price. "We are looking for a way to work this out, not to eliminate the use of social networking tools."

"With new technology comes new challenges," said IMSA President and CEO Brian Atchinson. "Today's discussions highlighted the need for increased digital literacy and action on the part of all industry stakeholders."

As a voluntary self regulatory organization, IMSA promotes ethical business practices by setting national standards in the annuities, life insurance and long-term care insurance marketplace that IMSA-certified companies must abide by in all 50 states. Nearly half of all US consumer premiums are sold by companies already adhering to IMSA standards. Learn more at www.IMSAethics.org.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer Kalita
    (240) 744-3021