Do Employers Need GPS And Logs When They Have YouTube and Facebook To Monitor Employees?

I don’t know why I continue to be surprised at the stupid things some people do, but apparently some people will never realize how much of themselves they are giving away when they post their pictures and other personal information on the Internet. My friend Alec (thanks again, Alec!) pointed me to a perfect example of what a growing number of people are doing…apparently thinking their employers are not savvy enough to be able to use the Internet.

This is a story of an employee who sent an email to his office saying he couldn’t make it to work, implying he had a family emergency when he actually went to a Halloween party, then posted his photo from the party (in full makeup and a blue and green fairy costume) on his Facebook page. This story includes copies of his email to his office saying he couldn’t make it in to work, along with the reply.
Many organizations are now regularly scanning the Internet when doing checks on potential employees, along with doing regular checks for information about current employees. I have talked to two organizations who each even have a full-time position responsible for checking the Internet each day for information about not only their own company, but also about their employees.
According to an Execunet 2006 survey of 100 executive recruiters, 77% search the Internet for information about job candidates and use the information to decide whether or not to keep the candidates in consideration for the jobs. It’s probably higher this year.
There are even new services springing up, such as Reputation Defender, to try to wipe the bad stuff off the Internet for people.
However, if people put this stuff out there once, it’s likely they will put it out again after ReputationDefender does its best. And, there is nothing to prevent others from posting your photos and videos online.
Generally, what’s posted on the Internet stays on the Internet.
With so many people willingly chronicling their lives, and the lives of others, online it seems like we may get to a point where looking online will tell what an employee is doing during the workday more accurately than the GPS and surveillance logs that are also widely used for monitoring.

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