Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Social Media Rules

There have been a number of stories of the past few years about employers using social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter, to check on their employees or potential/prospective employees. It is one of the golden rules about social media, once you put it out there it is out there forever and that means you shouldn't say anything online that you wouldn't put on a billboard or say to someone in person. Whether right or wrong some employers were in fact lurking online to check up on people.

Well, now one province is stepping into the discussion with some rules. British Columbia's privacy watchdog says social media should not be used to help organizations make background checks. The issue came to the attention of Elizabeth Denham earlier this year when leadership candidates for B.C.'s New Democrats were asked to supply their log in information so the party could check for possible embarrassing photos or posts.The party told Denham it asked for Facebook passwords after an NDP candidate had to withdraw from the 2009 election because controversial pictures of himself were shown in the media.

Denham has issued guidelines that show the risks of using the information, such as inaccuracies and collecting too much personal data. She now expects organizations to adopt the guidelines so that there are standard practices that comply with privacy obligations.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Any advice or tips to add?

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