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Swedish Companies illegally reveal the background of people on the web

Friday, 09 March 2012
Your twittering, blogging, or your opinions posted on Facebook can destroy your resume. More and more companies are engaged in the pursuit employers’ information - about your background, according to a recent newspaper investigation.

The Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter has identify that companies in Sweden or could be also abroad  reveal the background of employees who use the social media site on the web. Employers are trying essentially to find out who you are - before you are hired. To assist them, there are now a dozen more or less established companies working in the new back ground control branch.

It used to be popular in the companies whose owners have their origin in the guard or security industry. But now it is getting more and more common for staff tied to companies that have experience in social media.

2Secure, ToFindout, Look Closer, Persongranskning, Gothia Protection Group and Lerdell Investigation are some of the company that helps employers to chase the background information of people according to the Swedish daily Dagens Nyehter.

The paper also reports that it has made a quick check of the companies own reputation and what they get is not always a flattering picture. This is because these companies also investigate the background of people in relation to their debts, arrears charges and taxes, unpaid traffic charges, problems with taxi bills as well as unclean audit reports - and in one case the owner has been accused of miss handled.

On the whole it is determined that these companies are operating over the legal limit in seeking people’s background in this manner just in attempts to identify job seekers. The Swedish Information Commissioner is worried about this development.

According to the Authority, it is common for companies to record crime and income information of individuals which is breach of the Data Protection Act (pul). The job applicant must also be notified of the study carried out about him or her but this hard happens.

“It sometimes happens that these companies also control the past criminal record from the courts where cases are often ancient and already weeded out from the police's own archives,” says Jonas Agnvall, from the Swedish Information Commissioner. Companies are now called upon to either cease to use these inspection services, or if they are to use them, they should try and comply with the law.

Two of the companies are not happy with the Data Inspection Board's decision and has appealed to the administrative court.

Several high-profile cases in the past year occurred where employees lost their jobs because of what they had written on blogs, Twitter, or recorded on their Facebook pages. But now these employers have been given increasingly energy to sue if their information contained on the web has been screen and scanned even before recruitment is completed.

A recent survey by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce shows that four out of ten businesses are looking for staff seeking information on social media. Five companies, 19 percent, sorts out a candidate because of the information that have been sought out from the internet.
By Team

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