Companies warned about checking social media profiles of applicants, employees

Published by reposted only Date posted on July 20, 2017

by Alfred Bayle/JB, INQUIRER.net, Jul 16, 2017

Whatever is posted in social media is usually open to the public. This means employers and companies can browse through such posts while they consider hiring an applicant or retaining an employee.

According to The Telegraph, Facebook and other social media pages in Europe are now being made safe from employers, as new guidelines warn of legal repercussions in checking the social media profiles of applicants and employees.

Article 29 Working Party, a group made up of representatives from each of the European Union’s national data watchdogs, made the declaration in accordance to their updated guidance document.

While the Article 29 guidance is not legislation, it helps explain how legal action can be taken regarding the misuse of personal data found on social media, the report said.

New European laws that will come into effect in 2018 threaten massive fines for companies which would use data on social media to terminate an employee or reject an applicant.

The Article 29 guidance also adds that applicants should not have their profiles checked by employers as part of the screening process.

Scanning social media profiles would only be allowed if it is relevant to the job being applied for. For example, scanning may apply to jobs connected to marketing or public relations, where image is a crucial factor.

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