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Quora question

Is it unethical or wrong to Google my potential employees’ names even though my company does background checks?

Yes it is unethical. What a person does on the Internet is no concern of their employers. It is a violation of privacy to do so, even though the information is technically public. There are far too many things people do online, that are perfectly legal, which reveal stuff that a company shouldn’t legally or ethically have. It might reveal religion, sexuality, political stance, might out someone as transgender, neurostatus/mental illnesses, or reveal some other status - legally protected or otherwise - that would cause the person to get fired or not hired if the person looking up the information (or being given it by someone who did) is in a position to do so.

Looking up any part of someone’s web presence if they’re a potential employee or existing employee should thus be illegal for the same reason it’s illegal to ask an applicant or employee their religion or other protected status. Any individual that violates that policy should be fired if not imprisoned, unless their superiors told them to do so, then fire or imprison the superiors. Either way, then also fine the company 10% of their yearly profit.

The only exception I can think of is if someone sends the company a link to proof that someone is engaging in hate speech. People who engage in hate speech don’t deserve employment.

Remember this argument whenever anyone tries to justify their anti-privacy argument with "if you have nothing to hide, then you should agree with me." EVERYONE has something to hide.

This was cross-posted from https://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1360073.html
You can comment either here or there.


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