Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Law Enforcement Screening Social Media for Recruit Foibles

Law enforcement agencies around the country are demanding passwords and access to e-mail accounts as part of a screening process for new recruits. Some are simply requiring applicants to sign waivers allowing recruiters access to their social networking and media accounts, but other agencies are going further. According to research, about 1/3 of all law enforcement agencies are reviewing recruits' social media activity.

Obviously, some privacy and free speech advocates have a problem with this. Lawyers for the Fraternal Order of Police warned that defense lawyers could use some of this information to undermine officers' credibility. Social media background checks turned-up suicide threats/attempts, racy pictures, racially-charged comments, and similar activity which disqualified applicants.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011

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