There have been countless stories in the press of employers monitoring staff behaviour on social networking sites, however this practice now seems to be hitting a new low.It was recently reported on the Yahoo! Sports network that some teams in the NFL have started creating fictional profiles to trick would be future players into adding them to their social networks. Once the players have accepted these invitations the teams are able to access a wide variety of information about the player, information that the player has not consented to a potential employer having.
What annoys me most about this, is that this same behaviour in financial circles would be considered phishing and is illegal, however these NFL Teams seem to be free to not only practice the act, but also to publicly admit that they are doing it.
The key problem with social media
This practice also serves to highlight one very key point about social media sites that people often forget. On most social networking sites there is no way to verify the identity of any individual. Unlike obtaining a drivers licence or bank account, users are not required to provide proof of identity when creating these accounts. Therefore when someone you went to primary school with sudenly attempts to contact you on Facebook, you need to ask the question. Is this person who they say the are, or is it someone trying to find out more about me.Tweet