Social Media Background Checks – How Far Back Can They Go?

Posted on 08.18.2021

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You might have provided a criminal record check, reference check, credit check, employment record check, driver’s abstract, or even an education background check. But have you ever been subjected to a social media background check?

A social media background check is when your employer investigates your social media accounts to learn more about who you are as a person.

Here are the top reasons your employer might conduct a social media background check:

· Ensuring good company culture fit.

· Identifying and verifying professional references and recommendations.

· Learning information that would be hard to obtain from your resume or interview.

· Understanding your reputation to determine if you are reliable and trustworthy.

When conducting social media background checks, it’s easy for employers to scroll back as far as possible.

As a candidate, you should know your rights and how far back employers can search on your social media.

Technically, how far back employers can go is indefinite and depends on how long social media platforms keep your information.

For example, on Facebook, employers could filter as far back as possible if they wanted.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, no consumer reporting agency can make any consumer report containing information that dates back by more than 7 to 10 years unless otherwise stated by compliance laws.

This guideline refers mostly to traditional employment checks that employers conduct, such as their access to your liens, bankruptcies, and more but also applies to social media screening guidelines that should be followed to stay in compliance with regulations that govern the collection of information.

While employers could go further back than 7 to 10 years on your social media accounts, they generally wouldn’t.

Here is a document provided by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia that details the guidelines and recommendations for conducting social media background checks.

Although there are guidelines and laws to govern the safe practice of conducting social media background checks, you should still be cautious of what you are posting and revealing to the public.

At Triton, we are committed to supporting both individuals and organizations with conducting background checks safely and securely. We follow privacy laws and regulations and take the safety of our clients very seriously.

To learn more about our different solutions, call us at 1-844-874-8667 or visit www.tritoncanada.ca.