Can Employers View Your Facebook Account?

Are We Being Monitored?

In this intoxicating environment of technology, the only thing that is constant is change as the old saying goes. (Nothing endures but change....From Lives of the Philosophers by Diogenes LaertiusIon's life.) Our every mundane thought may be displayed publicly in a fraction of a second. Even with all of the privacy settings, you can still tell something about the character of someone who uses Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. The flavor or tendencys of a personality may be perceived or observed through the fields that are available on Facebook. This is a double edged sword. It is a great networking tool and social connector, however this June the U.S. Federal Trade Commission decided to give the okay to Social Intelligence Corporation to include a person's Facebook acccount in its background checks and to provide this information to potential employers. The employer can now gain knowledge on Facebook back to seven years. According to Forbes Magazine, the FTC ruled that the company, Social Intelligence is not violating any rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This decision opens another debate on whether we have the freedom of speech or is Big Brother watching? As a member of Facebook, I have seen hundreds of unattractive posts......if these are logged for seven years, they could pose a hindrance to employment, or could they?

Facebook has posted some helpful information at their website regarding this issue. Social Intelligence can only look at certain things. "As per our policies and obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the only information we collect on job applicants is employer defined criteria that is legally allowable in the hiring process. Examples of this include racist remarks, sexually explicit photos or videos, or illegal activity such as drug use."

They are not building a database on individuals that will be evaluated each time you apply for a job. It is important for job applicants to understand that no one is storing their historical information to be used against them the next time they apply for a job. Local authorities however are looking into Facebook accounts for the same types of information. Many times police are tipped off after someone reads a post on Facebook. One of many examples can be read at Facebook post puts robbers in jail.

Modern Day Morals for Professionals

1. Only post videos and pictures that reflect the you that you want others to see.

2. Show yourself in a positive light. Self deprecating is not attractive. When you decide to be positive, you will surprise yourself by how attractive your attitude is. Step back in time and take yourself off of the information highway if needed to refresh your mind and gain perspective.

Keep Your Reputation Positive!

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Comments 7 comments

R.S. Hutchinson profile image

R.S. Hutchinson 5 years ago from USA

Hmmmm... this is not good. (the facebook thing- the hub is good)

Cute dog btw :)


biblicaliving profile image

biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

I avoid facebook, and only use twitter (just started using twitter a few days ago.) There is just too much to go wrong with facebook, and too much gossip. Also, it is much easier to stay positive, and somewhat mysterious on twitter. I decide that if I was going to write, I was going to have to participate somewhat in the social network "game."


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

What an awesome Hub article! You have a great way with words. Technology never ceases to amaze me. It is scary that everything we do is watched and monitored. People should definitely be careful when they post things. Great Job!

JSMatthew~


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Hi and welcome to Hub Pages.

What a fascinating hub and very scary!! Perhaps 'they' mean well by allowing 7 years of Facebook history to be used but surely this has to be a violation of basic rights? But then 'big brother' doesn't really give a toss about rights. I really enjoyed this hub and look forward to reading more of your work.


Travis_S_Music 5 years ago

Thanks a bunch for clarifying all of that! So, by this spokesperson's words, they aren't directly diving into our personal life or any of that. I sure hope that's the case and not just another way for the government to cover up their searches in our private lives haha. Then again, anything posted on the internet really isn't private even with privacy setting I suppose.


Julip Manor profile image

Julip Manor 5 years ago from Kingwood, Texas Author

A spokesperson for Social Intelligence has clarified in an email:

Data is archived purely for compliance reasons and not used for any other purposes. This is to provide a verifiable chain-of-custody in case the information is ever needed for legal reasons. Archived data is never used for new screens.

As per our policies and obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the only information we collect on job applicants is employer defined criteria that is legally allowable in the hiring process. Examples of this include racist remarks, sexually explicit photos or videos, or illegal activity such as drug use

We are not 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. It is important for job applicants to understand we are not storing their historical information to be used against them the next time they apply for a job.

Thanks for replying....this is great info to know. Julip :)


Travis_S_Music 5 years ago

Very well written, I love it. But I'm curious, how are they going to obtain this information? Is it from a big database held by Facebook of anything and everything, including deleted posts? And isn't this somewhere in Facebook's terms of service/privacy policy that would be going against it? Or did they find a slip in the system to just all around avoid their privacy policy?

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