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FTC Approves Seven-Year Storage Of Social Media Data

The Federal Trade Commission approved background check companies to screen job applicants based on their Internet photos and postings. This means that any of your online activity, whether through Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. is “free game” for background check companies and your future employer to check out.

Maybe you think that all it takes is a few deactivations, a click here, a click there, and you’re ready to apply for that new summer internship? Unfortunately for some, Social Intelligence Corporation (a background check company) can keep your postings for up to seven years.

Now, the COO of the company, Geoffrey Andrews claims that while negative findings are kept on file for up to seven years, they are not reused when a new employer runs a check on you. Their reason is so they can provide the most up-to-date and relevant information on possible job applicants and more importantly, to work with the Fair Credit Reporting Act under law.

So what should you do with this information? Well, knowing that online data is captured can be frightening to some, especially those who post undesirable employment content on the web-and perhaps leave it up and forget that it was even there.

Hopefully news of this seven year period will cause people to be more careful about what they are posting online–especially posts that damage a company or former employer.

Photo Courtesy of MV
Photo Courtesy of dullhunk