Companies shouldn’t be allowed to inspect the Facebook and Twitter accounts of prospective job candidates, unless there is an appropriate “legal ground” for doing so, a European group dedicated to data protection has ruled. In a guidance “opinion” document, the Article 29 Working Party said employers should first consider whether the candidate’s account is meant for personal or business purposes. In addition, they should only reviews posts or “data” which is “relevant to the performance of the job which is being applied for.” Under no condition should companies force a potential employee to friend the recruiter or make their profile public.
The same rules apply to existing employees too. Companies shouldn’t force their workers to provide access to their social media posts. In addition, “screening of employees’ social media profiles should not take place on a generalised basis,” the group argues. Finally, the working party says employees shouldn’t be required to use a social media account created by their employee. If it’s required for work purposes, the employee should always have the right to set up an alternative, personal account and use it whenever they feel it’s appropriate. “And this should be specified in the terms and conditions of the employment contract,” the guidance reads.