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Facebook Privacy Policy Whiners Need To Get A Life

By Internet Lawyer

facebook privacy policy site governanceA few years ago, Facebook decided to let users vote on how user privacy and other issues are handle at the social media site. Like so much that’s free on the Web, certain misguided users and tech pundits mistake this benevolence to be an irrevocable “right” that Facebook can never modify or rescind.

Because it is so easy to manipulate Facebook Site Governance votes, the social networking site has decide it is time for a change – reflecting the reality that user feedback is important but shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

In other words, Facebook is a social media website that has the right to change how it operates within the confines of the law. That includes changing Facebook’s privacy policy.

website privacy policy

If a user doesn’t like changes to Facebook’s privacy policy or other operational terms and conditions, that user can always delete their account and go elsewhere to find social networking opportunities.

To claim a nonexistent “right” to veto the way Facebook’s social media site (or Google+, Linkedin, etc.) is run is absurd. When in Facebook’s social networking ballpark, as a user, you play by the company’s rules…even when those rules change.

Linkedin Spam: Business Social Media Site Screws Up

By Internet Lawyer
linkedin spam

Would you like to receive Linkedin spam?

What is Linkedin spam?

Before telling you about Linkedin spam, let’s define what “spam” is. Spam is unsolicited commercial email (UCE). When you think of spammers, it’s typically some sleazeball sending out millions of emails at a time filling your inbox with biz opp offers and sales pitches for fake medicines. However, it’s also common for some dork you met at a networking or other public event to import the details from your business card in order to spam you with his mlm/network marketing offers.

Because it is such a nuisance, most spam is illegal under U.S. and other countries’ laws regardless of whether the actual offer in the email is legitimate or a fraud.

So, what’s the deal with Linkedin spam?

When you set up your Linkedin account, you can set your options on how you want emails delivered. If you receive a lot of email, it makes sense to receive weekly summaries instead of notifications in real time filling your inbox. However, Linkedin has decided to ignore this setting and go beyond the scope of consent to send emails more frequently, i.e. Linkedin spam.

Here’s the moronic email I received today announcing the new Linked spam policy.

Dear Michael,

We want to let you know about a change we will be making to some of our email notifications to make sure you get important messages as soon as possible.

Previously, due to an error on our part, your default setting was to receive a weekly summary email listing any InMails or Introductions sent to you by other LinkedIn members.

We received a lot of feedback from people saying they’d rather receive these messages right away. With that feedback in mind, we will be changing your setting on December 14, 2011 so you’ll receive InMails and Introductions immediately rather than in a weekly digest format.

If you’d like to receive these messages as soon as they are sent, no action is needed. However, if you’d like to change how you receive these messages in the future, you can change your email preferences by selecting the weekly digest format.

To learn more about changing your email notifications, please visit our help center.

Sincerely,

The LinkedIn Team

Linkedin spam policy translated

Dear Michael,

We wanted to let you know that we could care less about what you consented to for receiving emails from us.

In fact, we made the mistake of actually letting you choose weekly summaries instead of having your inbox filled with crap on a regular basis that you have no time or interest in reading.

We’re really going to blame other people wanting more emails (without proof) for the reason we will start flooding your inbox with Linkedin spam beginning next week.

If you want to go back to receiving weekly summaries, please waste some of your time changing your preferences again. Of course, based on this email from us, you shouldn’t expect us to honor your wishes in the future either because we’re clueless when it comes to matters of informed consent and social media.

To learn more about why we have decided send you Linkedin spam, please waste even more of your time by going to our misnamed “help center.”

Sincerely,

Dumb and Dumber

Until the Linkedin spam policy is reversed, I will treat the anti-social site with the contempt it deserves because it disrespects its members.

Are Social Media Employment Background Checks Legal?

By Internet Lawyer

social media employment background checks

What do you think of social media employment background checks?

FTC and Social Media Employment Background Checks

When it comes to social media employment background checks, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has indicated that it plans to hold employers gaining information about potential employees over the internet subject to the same accountability as employers who obtain information about prospective employees in more traditional ways.

This means, among other laws and regulations, that social media employment background checks must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

As the consumer protection branch of the federal government, the FTC works in part to protect the privacy and reputation value inherent in people’s names. This protection has extended to the FTC enforcing regulations whereby employers must do diligent research into the accuracy of data provided to them about potential future employees.

Traditionally, this research extended to ensuring the accuracy of official reports, like criminal history and previous employment statistics, but recent guidance by the Federal Trade Commission indicates that the FTC is looking at how employers make use of information on the internet.

Why Social Media Employment Background Checks Are Popular

Some companies make money by researching the backgrounds of individuals, and then selling the results of social media employment background checks to prospective employers who may hire those individuals. Employers value this information and are willing to pay money to know how successful potential employees might be with their company. Much of the information sold to employers by information gathering companies comes from internet websites such as Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, and Twitter.

While often employers can learn a good deal about a job applicant by viewing his or her posts on the Internet, there are concerns about the accuracy of data provided to employers gathered this way. For example, online identity theft could, if undiscovered or not disrupted, cause employers to rely upon false information to reject a prospective employee.

The FTC recognizes this possibility and wants employers and their information providers to take additional steps to ensure that a potential employee is not rejected for a position because online identity theft tainted social media employment background checks.

Social Media Employment Background Checks and Identity Theft

Although FTC conditional approval of social media employment background checks does nothing to stop online pirates from stealing the identity of others, it does encourage employers to make sure information given to them is accurate. Online identity theft may always exist, but now employers know that the FTC may punish them for not verifying data used by them for hiring purposes is reasonably certain to be accurate.

Companies providing data to employers must also take heed of the FTC’s views. The Federal Trade Commission wants these research organizations to ensure that the data they provide to employers will not be used in a way contrary to the law. Responsibility, therefore, on the part of both employers and research businesss providing them with the social media employment background checks, will perhaps lead to greater data accuracy albeit at the expense of a prospective employee’s privacy.

Of course, there remains the unresolved issue of whether sites like Facebook will be held liable by the government or in civil lawsuits for damages if they sell false information to businesss who use it for social media employment background checks.