Issues that show up here:
- the federal government (FTC) was looking into whether the company's practices might violate the fair credit reporting act (FCRA), but determined it was in compliance
- "privacy advocates" said to be concerned that it might encourage employers to consider information not relevant to job performance (why not fair employment advocates? -- later in the article we do find mention of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
- what do we make of the statement: "Things that you can’t ask in an interview are the same things you can’t research"?
- since this is really just an extension of the idea of the "background check" -- can we think a little more systematically about that as a general idea prior to getting mired in details of internet presence searches?
Drucker characterized the company's goal as "to conduct pre-employment screenings that would help companies meet their obligation to conduct fair and consistent hiring practices while protecting the privacy of job candidates." This raises another interesting question: if an agent has a mandated responsibility for some level of due diligence and information is, technically, available, will a company necessarily sprout up to collect and provide this information? Where would feasibility, cost, and the uncertainty of interpretation enter the equation? Can the employer, for example, err on the side of caution and exclude the individual who joined the Facebook group because that fact MIGHT mean something that the employer could be liable for not having discovered? Will another company emerge that helps to assess the likelihood of false positives or false negatives? What about if it is only a matter of what the company wants in terms of its corporate culture? Can we calculate the cost (perhaps in terms of loss of human capital, recruitment costs, etc.) of such technically assisted vigilance?