Monday, August 31, 2009

Job Interviews and Facebook

With the start of classes just two short days away, its time for me to start blogging again. I've previously used this blog as a means to communicate with my students outside of the classroom and to comment on current information privacy and security news. The media is replete with stories on these topics. There are also a number of blogs that focus specifically on these topics - many of which are listed in my blogroll.

As I scanned the headlines today I noticed a number of items of interests. In particular, I noticed a story in the New York Times entitled More Employers Use Social Networks to Check Out Applicants. According to the article,
45 percent of employers questioned are using social networks to screen job candidates — more than double from a year earlier, when a similar survey found that just 22 percent of supervisors were researching potential hires on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The study also found that "35 percent of employers decided not to offer a job to a candidate based on the content uncovered on a social networking site."

The study stated that
More than half of the employers who participated in the survey said that provocative photos were the biggest factor contributing to a decision not to hire a potential employee, while 44 percent of employers pinpointed references to drinking and drug use as red flags. Other warning signs included bad-mouthing of previous employers and colleagues and poor online communication skills.
Im sure many students, especially seniors looking for jobs, already regularly clean up their facebook profiles and remove potentially incriminating material. This is certainly a good practice, but the broader questions remain.

Should employers be allowed to scan facebook profiles of potential employees? Are employers treading on shaky legal ground by denying jobs to qualified individuals based on information discovered in their facebook profiles? Is it fair to judge a candidate on material found within their facebook profile?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Syllabus Available

Ive activated our class Blackboard site and posted the syllabus. I know most of you are pre-occupied with moving-in, getting settled, and catching up with friends but if you have time to check out the syllabus please do. If you have any questions drop me a note.

Have a great move-in weekend, do not anything too stupid and I see you next week for our first class.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summers Over

As summer draws to a close I can no longer put off the inevitable. Its time to review the COSC-011 syllabus and make the changes necessary to ensure this semster's class is a great one. The general focus and format of the class will remain the same. We will still examine the tension between privacy and security in the digital age. However, I plan on tweaking some of the readings and adding more interactive exercises to the course.

If any former or future students are following this blog please let me know if you have any suggestions for the pending semester. I'm looking forward to another exciting semester. Enjoy your last week of freedom and ill see you on campus September 2.