Germany May Restrict Use of Facebook

31 August 2010 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog

A proposed law in Germany will restrict employers from using Facebook, and other truly social Social Media sites, when recruiting. However the law would allow employers to search business Social Media sites such as LinkedIn. Since there are no current guidelines in Germany about employer’s use of Social Media content these new laws will help establish guidelines. Of course there are no specific guidelines in the US where about 30% of the estimated 500 million Facebook users reside. Currently most employers review Social Media postings to make hiring decisions and until judicial reviews and statutes are enacted this will continue. However what people post of Facebook, and other Social Media sites, is often quite amazing which is why Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) recently opined that “people will one day change their name and reinvent themselves in order to escape their digital past.”

Most People Don’t Want to be Located

Facebook’s new location based Places has sparked new privacy issues about disclosing one’s whereabouts from the GPS cell devices that we carry. However according to Forrester Research only about 4% of Americans have adopted these location based services notwithstanding a recent report indicated that venture “capitalists have poured $115 million into location start-ups since last year, ... and companies like Starbucks and Gap have offered special deals to users of such services who visited their stores... Shopkick, which became available this month, offers coupons to people when they walk into stores like Best Buy and Macy’s.” Nonetheless many people feel that their privacy is compromised by disclosing their location, so location based Social Media will be an interesting social evolution to watch.

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