Saturday, August 18, 2012

Social Intelligence protects employers, prospective employees

Originally posted 07/12/2011 on lubbockonline.com

Last year I told you about a company called Social Intelligence that scours the web for your social media presence as a (for fee) service for companies. It took a while longer, but the guys and gals at Gizmodo.com heard about them, and decided to test out the service on six of their people. Mat Honan was the (un)lucky employee that failed the test and as a consequence, got to tell the tale.

He tells it in unflinching detail, including the full report, which is redacted by Social Intelligence to prevent any inappropriate details from being divulged. Inappropriate in this case means details that it is illegal for an employer to ask prospective employees. Social Intelligence is very dilligent about that. The one really good thing about this service is that it protects both the employer and the prospective employee. Social Intelligence only passes on data that is allowed by law, which protects the employer from charges of discrimination, applicants from actual discrimination.

This isn't really surprising, it's a natural progression from the data mining that is already being done. While it does shield both parties from the possibility of illegal discrimination there's no way of knowing what it might find and how irrelevant it might be now. I've been online since 1987, and while I don't think I've ever done anything online that might cost me a job, I have to ask myself, what might they find?

Edited @ 8:20am for clarity by Bert