What you post may be used against you

The Jan 9 Wall St Journal points out that credit analysts are starting to use your Facebook, LinkedIn and eBay activities to evaluate you.   For example, does your job history and status on these sites correspond with the one you submitted in an application?  What are buyers saying about you on eBay (assuming you are selling stuff there?) , etc.  In short, your “rep” (as in reputation) is being tracked as it spans social media.

This is added to the “75% of employers check your social media presence before pursuing an interview” (feedback from an HR friend of mine). Universities that use your presence as part of their acceptance process (are you really sure you want those party pictures on-line?), and even schools that have expelled students for violations admitted on their social media sites.

Scott McNealy asserted “You have no privacy anyway, get over it“, and it appears the NSA may concur.  However, it is not clear this is a situation we should take lying down …. anyone want to stand up?


2 thoughts on “What you post may be used against you

  1. Jim, a well written post about an important topic.

    Using social connections to determine credit worthiness is an intriguing idea. However, it is straightforward to develop common situations where such associations are nonsense. People use social media for many different reasons, and the characteristics of their networks and how these networks reflect their opinions, beliefs, and in this case, credit behavior vary tremendously.

    Often, people use their social networks to stay connected with families, alumni, interest groups, and the like. Personally, my network consists of a mix of family, fellow alumni, business and professional contacts. Some are close, some relatively distant. Politically, they run the gamut from extreme liberal to extreme conservative (some of extremes are in one of my alumni collections, they regularly get into mutual flame wars over political issues). Do either of them accurately reflect my political beliefs? No.

    Hypothetically, if my family were concentrated in an occupational area undergoing stress (e.g., steel workers) and I were a physician, should my credit worthiness be imperiled because they suffered a plant closing? There are a virtually infinite number of ways in which this information can be misinterpreted. It is simply not reliable.

    I explored the corresponding issue in the context of jury service voir dire in “Colliding Worlds: Juries in the World of Pervasive Connectivity and Social Media”, the February 2011 installment of Ruminations (at http://www.rlgsc.com/blog/ruminations/colliding-worlds-juries-connectivity.html ).

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