Employers Invading Social Media Privacy

February 7, 2012 Comments
Employers Invading Social Media Privacy

When we want to know about a person the first thing we do is a ‘Google search’ which will ultimately take you to his public profile in social media sites or history on the web… Searching Who, What and Where is that simple now.

employers invading privacyNo matter who – a potential employer, a friend/relative or an unknown person, someone is sure to have looked up your public profile to know about who you really are or to learn more about other facets of your life. There is no harm in it. Most websites have their own privacy settings which help us setup our profile the way we wanted it to be shown to others.

But the twist is there might be a lot of people with a similar name or information which might create confusion for people looking for you and lead to misjudgment on their part. During the selection process employers might invade into your profiles on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on!! This helps them to do a background check. With a few employers, in order to apply for a position, job seekers are even required to fill in applicant information that discloses information about their social networking accounts, along with the username and password to access them.

The story about the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services asking job applicants for their facebook account username and password for their background checks was a very sensitive issue last year.

Now comes the question of opening your Social Medial gateway to Employers!!

If, for example, an employer is interested in looking up the Facebook profile of a prospective employee, as part of their background checks, he would most likely end up doing it. The hiring manager’s job is not just evaluating the candidate on the basis of an interview or a few minutes of interaction, but to clearly verify that the candidate he is going to select will be a right fit for his organization’s culture too. Obviously at this point the employer might want to get as much information as he can, to know more about you and your interests outside of your work as well so as to avoid the risk of hiring a wrong person. One of the easy ways this can be achieved is from your social media accounts in sites like Facebook.  Where people share every moment of their life like they would in a personal journal  And if your profile reveals or hints at drunken behavior or involvement in any criminal/political violence, extreme or deviant ideologies or anything that might indicate a professional liability they likely will not hire you.

Someone in the shoes of a prospective employee should definitely not be sharing the password due to privacy reasons!! Of course, no one likes a third person invading  their personal privacy. And if for any reason you share your password when asked by an employer, it questions your ability to maintaining confidentiality of the employer’s  Non Disclosure Information.

But what if  a person had to choose between getting his livelihood vs. keeping his Social Media private?

Image: StockFresh Privacy

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