Employers are considered to be among the most likely potential adversaries to hire data analytics agencies that buy data from brokers.
Web scraping and data mining software is available to any individual or organization and can be used by staff as part of a suitability check for hiring a candidate, or for a promotion.
Background checks have always been done by employers.
Scraping can cover anything and everything associated with someone’s digital presence online: Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and location-based services, data from association sites, school repositories and community events. It enables an employer to create a time map of an individual’s life over the specified search period, without the individual’s explicit permission.
It can be used to ascertain information that cannot be legally asked in interviews. Political views, age, sexual orientation, marital status, ethnicity, offspring and life stage are common examples.
Things that may have been socially acceptable in the past but are no longer welcomed can come back to haunt an individual. Old posts, tweets and comments can damage careers and because the subject is unable to explain things in or out of context, anything can be used against someone.