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 Don't google job applicants in Finland!

All around the world, prospective employers often use search engines to learn things about job applicants that cannot be discerned from the usual routine of resume, interview, and references. All around the world? Maybe no longer in Finland, the country with the strictest privacy laws in the EU! Under the Protection of Privacy in Working Life Act, an employer may collect information on its employees or job applicants primarily from the employees or job applicants themselves. If "other sources" are used, consent from the employee must be obtained.

So the Finnish Data Protection Ombudsman ruled in November 2006 that employers can not use information which is obtained by using Internet search engines, such as Google. The statement was given in response to a job applicant’s complaint that a prospective employer had used a five-year old news group discussion posting found on the Internet to the detriment of the applicant. In the news group discussion posting, the applicant claimed to be mentally unstable. During the job interview, the applicant discovered that  his potential new employer had documents resulting from an Internet search that referred to aspects of his personal life, including his participation in a mental health conference (which he attended as a patient’s representative). However, the information at the employer’s disposal did not clarify the applicant’s status at the conference, leading the employer to believe that the potential employee could have had a mental health disorder.

Also see RoschierRaidla News




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