Last week, the Federal Trade Commission gave a stamp of approval to a background check company that screens job applicants based on their Internet photos and postings. The FTC determined that Social Intelligence Corp. was in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This means a search of what you’ve said or posted to Facebook/Twitter/Flickr/blogs and the Internet in general may become a standard part of background checks when you apply for a job.
No big deal, right? You already knew that employers were Googling you. I argued this was actually better, because Social Intelligence has to make sure its clients inform job applicants if they took adverse action based on something found on the Internet. That way you can delete and change privacy settings accordingly.
But there’s a wrinkle. If something job-threatening pops up on Facebook or Flickr or Craigslist in a search of you, Social Intelligence puts it into your file — and it stays there for seven years.