Why Your Privacy Settings Could Lose You Your Job

Nicole Fabian-Weber

incriminating facebook photoOof, just when you thought that one old photo of yourself all glassy-eyed triple-fisting vodka tonics at the male revue was safe from your future employer, here comes Social Intelligence. The company, which specializes in background checking potential employees for companies by scanning through Facebook/Twitter/blogs/Flickr for them, holds your incriminating photos/Tweets/whatever for ... wait for it ...

Seven years! That's a really long time. Man, am I glad I wasn't all over the Internet in 2004 because, to be totally frank, I did some dicey things that year that I would not want documented. As for other less-than-desirable Internet markings of mine? I think I'd be in the clear if a future employer were to poke around on me. Would you?

And don't for a second think, "Whatever, I don't care. Social Intelligence can suck it 'cause all my Internet crap is set to private." (That was to be read in the voice of Amy Poehler's One-Legged Amber, btw.) It doesn't matter. Social Intelligence can get around that sophomoric stuff. Did you really think you could outsmart the system?

Here's the comforting thing, though. Social Intelligence may store your Internet wrongdoings for up to seven years, but they don't use them against you for that long. Like, they're not building a "this person sucks don't hire them" file against you. With each new report, new photos, etc. are presented. So, if you didn't get a job last week, maybe be careful what you post of yourself from here on out. 

I gotta say, I like this idea. Not really the seven years part, but the fact that this company -- which got the stamp of approval from the FTC last week -- exists. Potential employers are Googling your ass and checking your other records (prison and credit) anyway, why not let them see what they're getting into? If I were a person who hires persons, I'd want to know if I was about to bring a gun-toting racist on board. Or a person who hates puppies. Wouldn't you?

What do you think of Social Intelligence? Do you have anything to be scared of?


Image via greggoconnell/Flickr

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