Super funds need to identify social media posters

Superannuation funds are expected to identify social media posters if there are posts made by an alias to the super fund about withdrawing consent form their communications.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) regulatory guide on the anti-hawking prohibition said product offerors needed to comply with the variation or withdrawal of consent when the identity of the person seeking the withdrawal was reasonable ascertainable.

However, this also included finding out the identities of social media aliases.

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In an example, ASIC said: “If Zhang used a social media application (where his username was ‘Z Dizzle’) to post on Big Super’s social media page that he did not want to be contacted, while it may not have been readily apparent to Big Super’s social media team that it was Zhang, we expect that Big Super would take reasonable steps to ascertain the poster’s identity, such as replying to the post asking the customer to provide their name.

“If Zhang does not respond or the identity of the poster cannot otherwise reasonably be ascertained, it may not be possible for Big Super to determine that they are no longer able to rely on Zhang’s consent.”

ASIC noted that funds would also have to accept a withdrawal of consent if it was delivered in a different manner to when consent was given.

“Zhang contacts his superannuation fund, Big Super, by phone to ask about retirement income products. He gives consent to Aisha who works at Big Super to contact him,” ASIC said.

“Zhang later withdraws this consent by email using an email address that is linked to his member account with Big Super. In the email he states that he does not want to be contacted.

“Aisha is able to identify that Zhang is withdrawing the consent, despite the withdrawal being made in a different form to the form in which the consent was originally given. Big Super can therefore accept Zhang’s withdrawal of consent.”




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