FTC OKs Internet Background Checks

A potential employee’s Facebook, Twitter, blog and more could now be part of a standard background check when he or she applies for a job.

The Federal Trade Commission recently determined Social Intelligence Corp., a background check company that screens job applicants based on their Internet photos and posts, is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, according to a Forbes.com blog post.

The company uses data that is publicly available, including from social networking websites, professional networking websites, blogs, wikis, video and picture sharing websites, Social Intelligence Corp.’s COO, Geoffrey Andrews, says in the post.

Any negative findings are kept on file but not reused when a new employer runs a check on that particular employee, according to the post.

“While we store information for up to seven years, we do not ‘reuse’ that information for new reports,” Andrews says in the post. “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.”

To read the entire blog post, click here.

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