Use social media in your job search? Here’s an important warning…

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Use social media in your job search? Here’s an important warning…
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Job sites have become important online destinations for those seeking employment as well as recruiters looking to hire new talent. But the convenience of these websites may come with some really big privacy concerns.

A fan of money expert Clark Howard recently tipped us to the terms of service to one popular site, Glassdoor, and how they affect people who access the site via social media. If you’re a user of Facebook, Twitter and the like and access Glassdoor that way, those terms of use gives the site access to all of your posts and messages.

Here’s the fine print: Glassdoor’s terms of use

Like many employment websites, Glassdoor includes broad language in its terms of service in order to protect the site. But you may be surprised with how little protection you — the user — have.

Here’s what Glass Door’s terms of use says about your information linked to the site via social media (emphasis ours):

Social Sign Up and Sign In. You may be able to register an account and subsequently access Glassdoor through a social networking site, such as Facebook or Google+ (“Social Networking Site”). If you access Glassdoor through a Social Networking Site you agree that we may access, make available through Glassdoor, and store (if applicable) any information, data, text, messages, tags, and/or other materials that you have provided to and stored and made accessible in your Social Networking Site account so that it is available on and through Glassdoor via your account and your Profile page. Subject to the privacy settings that you have set with the Social Networking Site account you use to access Glassdoor, personally identifiable information that you post to that Social Networking Site may be displayed on Glassdoor. Please note: your relationship with your Social Networking Sites is governed solely by your agreement with those Social Networking Sites and we disclaim any liability for personally identifiable information that may be provided to us by a Social Networking Site in violation of the privacy settings that you have set with that Social Networking Site account.

From the above, it’s pretty clear that via the site’s “social signup,” Glass Door reserves the right to store, track and access your public and private messages along with any photos and other data you share on social media. That means your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Linkedin info is also likely fair game.

Other major job sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn, don’t have this language in their terms of use. We looked at them and this is what we found:

Monster.com

Monster.com’s terms of use says “Monster claims no ownership or control over any User Content.”

CareerBuilder

CareerBuilder.com’s terms of use may raise a few red flags for privacy diehards: “You understand and agree that CareerBuilder owns and has the right to collect, extract, compile, synthesize, and analyze Aggregate Data. CareerBuilder may use such Aggregate Data for any lawful business purpose without a duty of accounting to you, provided that the data and information is used only in an aggregated and anonymized form so that it cannot be identifiable as relating to you, your Company or to any other Job Seekers.”

Indeed

Here’s what it says in Indeed’s terms of use concerning logging in via social media or Google: “By accessing Indeed through your Facebook or Google account, you understand that Facebook or Google will share certain data … for the purposes of authentication to permit you to access our Site in a secure manner. You may stop this at any point from your Facebook or Google account. This information will be considered Indeed account information for purposes of your use of the Site.”

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LinkedIn

And LinkedIn’s privacy policy says this: “We receive information about your visits and interaction with services provided by others when you log-in with LinkedIn or visit others’ services that include our plugins (such as “Share on LinkedIn” or “Apply with LinkedIn”), ads, cookies or similar technologies.”

Final Thought

To be sure, most job sites ask for your personal information and permission to use it. Perhaps you’re among the millions of people who has glanced over these sites’ terms of use — or maybe you haven’t looked at all. But now’s the time to do so.

Clark has previously warned consumers about the dangers of third-party logins, especially via Facebook, due to their history of privacy issues. We all need to pay greater attention to the fine print.
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