"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Education on What Facebook Can Do With Your Information, and What You Can Do To Minimize the Sharing of Your Data

There is now a company that archives all Facebook posts where employers can check Facebook postings and information for up to seven years:

If you’re still not using any of the privacy settings on Facebook, here’s the most compelling reason why you need to change that as soon as possible.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has given the thumbs up to Social Intelligence Corp, which keeps files of Facebook users’ posts as part of a background-checking service for screening job applicants.

The FTC decided Social Intelligence complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the same set of rules that keeps your bill-payment records on file with the consumer bureaus for seven years, according to Forbes.

That’s how long your social media postings remain in Social Intelligence’s records. Even if you delete an embarrassing photo or bawdy status update, the material could stay in your file for seven years, during which time it might be used against you if a prospective employer were to use the agency’s services to screen applicants.

This ups the ante on prospective employers simply Googling you or even looking for you on Facebook and other sites — by now, many job hunters know enough to clean up their profiles when looking for work. Social Intelligence would have the goods on you before you cleaned up your online act, dating back seven years.

We can only suspect that if Social Intelligence has the go-ahead to operate in this capacity, other start-ups might follow. That’s all the more reason to err on the safe side and use Facebook’s privacy settings to their fullest.

Readers, does learning about services like Social Intelligence make you want to recheck your security settings or start using them if you haven’t done so already?

It is a good idea to check out those privacy and security settings links. They will give you specific directions on how to make Facebook information available only to those you want to allow.

This got me to thinking. Do you think it would be possible for the Department of Education to possibly sell personally identifiable information to companies to fill in budget deficits? Apparently personal information is quite valuable these days.

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