Social Media Report = The New Credit Report for Employers?

| Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So in the last decade or more, social sites have become the everyday hang out spot on the net. Myspace (is that shit still open), Facebook, Twitter, and others, plus the new and upcoming Google + (they are praying it succeeds beyond that Google Buzz crap they released previously). We all know some employers go online and do a search and see what their employees or people that want to hire do on their free time. Right? Came across this article on Forbes. Read up and see what is gonna be the new standard on "employee research" along with credit and drug testing. Gotta watch what I say when drunk and on Twitter now!

The FTC has given thumbs up to a company, Social Intelligence Corp., selling a new kind of employee background check to employers. This one scours the internet for your posts and pictures to social media sites and creates a file of all the dumb stuff you ever uploaded online. For instance, this sample they provided was flagged for "Demonstrating potentially violent behavior" because of "flagrant display of weapons or bombs."

The FTC said that the file, which will last for up to seven years, does not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The company also says that info in your file will be updated when you remove pictures from the social media sites. Forbes reports, "new employers who run searches through Social Intelligence won't have access to the materials if they are completely removed from the Internet."

Here is a statement on their privacy policy the company's COO sent Forbes:

While we store information for up to seven years we do not "reuse" that information for new reports. Per our policies and obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, we run new reports on applicants on each new search to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is utilized, and we store the information to maintain a verifiable chain-of-custody in-case the information is ever needed for legal reasons. We are not however building a "database" on individuals that will be evaluated each time they apply for a job and potentially could be used adversely even if they have cleaned up their profiles.

Another profile was flagged for having racist tendencies for clicking "Like" on a Facebook group called, "I shouldn't have to press 1 for English. We are in the United States. Learn the language."

Forbes link Article 1, Article 2, Article 3

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