... approve firm that dishes dirt on applicants
Company keeps information on its records for SEVEN YEARS
Uses special software to track down applicants' online pseudonyms
Means social media postings will become regular part of job application process
Government rules company doesn't breach regulations
The Federal Trade Commission has approved a controversial firm which scours social media sites to check on job applicants.
It means anything you've ever said in public on sites including Facebook, Twitter and even Craigslist could be seen by your would-be employer.
The Washington-based commission has ruled the firm, Social Intelligence Corporation, complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act - even though it keeps the results of its searches on file for seven years.
It raises the frightening prospect of any social media posting, even it's years old or was meant as a joke, being used in background checks.
Applicants who use online pseudonyms aren't safe, either - the firm uses special software to link those nicknames with real, offline names known to employers.
One applicant found himself out of the running for a job after being branded racist because he once joined a Facebook group called 'I shouldn't have to press one for English. We are in the United States. Learn the language.'
Social Intelligence Corp scours everything from social networking sites, such as Facebook, to video and picture sharing websites as well as blogs and wikis.
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