You might want to reconsider your privacy settings in Facebook. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has given permission to the Social Intelligence Corporation to keep files of Facebook user posts as part of a background checking service that they offer companies who want to screen job applicants.
It was all laid out by the head of the company in an email:
Data is archived purely for compliance reasons and not used for any other purposes. This is to provide a verifiable chain-of-custody in case the information is ever needed for legal reasons. Archived data is never used for new screens.
As per our policies and obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the only information we collect on job applicants is employer defined criteria that is legally allowable in the hiring process. Examples of this include racist remarks, sexually explicit photos or videos, or illegal activity such as drug use
We are not 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. It is important for job applicants to understand we are not storing their historical information to be used against them the next time they apply for a job.
The FTC decided that the Social Intelligence Corporation complies with the Fair Credit Reporting act. So, even if you take down that crazy photo of yourself on Facebook, or the update status that might be deemed controversial, the information can still stay in your file for up to seven years. While it’s in your file, your employer may use the information against you if they consider you for a job.
If you had a crazy Facebook page during college and decided to grow up when you entered into the real world, anything you’ve said that might be considered edgy, racist, sexist or otherwise may keep you from landing the job you’re seeking. Companies, being careful to avoid potential lawsuits, are likely planning to spend billions on this kind of background information.
Experts are recommending that you keep your Facebook page as private as possible, so the Social Intelligence Corporation can’t access everything about you.