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    Hill: Senators have privacy issues with background screening firm

    The Hill reports that Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) —  chairman of the subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law of the Senate Judiciary Committee — raising privacy questions with a Social Intelligence Corporation, an employment screening company.

    Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) voiced concern over the practices of an employment screening firm that culls data about job applicants from social media and the Web on Monday, arguing the practice could invade consumers’ privacy and violate the law.

    “According to sample background reports published in the media, information is collected from applicants’ profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, personal websites, and other online information sources that Social Intelligence Corporation matches to applicants,” the Senators wrote. […]

    Social Intelligence Corp. is a background screening service that stores data on consumers’ Web and social media footprints for up to seven years to give employers information about potential hires.

    The firm says it looks for publicly posted content that is racially insensitive, sexually explicit, or demonstrates clearly illegal activity. Flagrant displays of weaponry are also flagged. Content limited only to users’ friends is not included in the searches. […]

    The Senators request answers to a list of questions such as whether applicants have the right to correct mistakes on their record or how the firm differentiates between individuals with common names.

    They question whether the firm attempts to access restricted data on Facebook by friending them or joining a network.

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