Month: May 2012

Employers asking candidates for Social Media passwords during recruitment process

By Dave Haygarth   May 22, 2012  
It seems that employers in the US are being rather invasive with regards to vetting candidates during recruitment and interview processes. We all know that prospective employers will potentially look at candidates facebook pages or twitter accounts to attempt to get a better insight to their prospective employees. However, recently stories indicate that there is now an increasing number of companies who actually want to have the passwords for candidate social media accounts so they can login and "have a look round" at information not normally available on public profiles. This is being done through direct questions on an application form or during the interview process, with some interviewers asking the candidates to login to their accounts there and then.  Other methods involve employers asking the candidates to "friend" a member of the the HR team so that they can see the information normally reserved for people considered as a friend. Is this invasion of privacy or legitimate screening of a candidate?  Probably both depending on the circumstances and position being applied for. One thing for sure is that people are bound to have very strong views on this topic and this debate will surely be another 'battle' over privacy on the internet. You can read the full story here.    

Cookie Law – Are you ready?

By Dave Bancroft   May 14, 2012  
On the 26th May 2012, legislation comes into effect that require companies with websites to ensure that user consent is obtained to store non "essential use" cookies on their PC. The onus falls upon the owners/operators of websites to ensure compliance and at the current estimate is expected to cost business in the UK £10bn to implement. Obviously, in this climate, this is a burden that most companies could well do without and like many in the industry, ever since we heard about the law we've been waiting for a clear and concise directives from the ICO (Information Commisioners Office) but even so close to the deadline, clarity is the one thing missing in all this. (More general information on this topic can be found at the ICO here - http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx) In general cookies will fall into two categories:essential - which are exempt (job / shopping baskets) non-essential - fall under these regulations (tracking & analytics cookies)With our FXRecruiter recruitment websites, we feel the vast majority of cookies used fall into the "essential use" category and thus would be exempt. However, there is one cookie that a huge number of sites use and will soon fall under the "non-essential" category, is the cookie used for Google Analytics (GA).  As this GA cookie is used on millions of websites, there is a major concern about this legislation and there are ongoing discussions about how this can be resolved without the cost to UK business, which up to now have yielded little help from the ICO. In fact in one of their earlier updates several months ago, they state that analytics cookies are well down on their list of priorities for action: "Although the Information Commissioner cannot completely exclude the possibility of formal action in any area, it is highly unlikely that priority for any formal action would be given to focusing on uses of cookies where there is a low level of intrusiveness and risk of harm to individuals.”So there, in a nutshell is the problem.  Google Cookies are "non-essential", thus consent must be gained before storing them on a users PC. But hey - if you don't then we are unlikely to fine you.  Confused ?  Join then masses. How do I become compliant? Firstly, as the onus of the regulation falls onto the site owner, we strongly urge you to review the regulations at the ICO site and  ensure that the requirements are met. If you are unsure about them, take appropriate legal advice. We can advise on technical issues only and are not legal advisers. We do have a solution for our FXRecruiter sites that we can discuss individually with our clients and depending on their legal advice.  For other bespoke sites then clients can approach us for advice. There are also other solutions out there on offer which a Google search should find and we can advise you on the best way to integrate with your site should you be advised to display an option to site users. Watch this space...

HTML5 and a reminder about how hard it used to be

By Dave Haygarth   May 8, 2012  
These days we get used to just downloading the latest browser and ensuring it updates automatically (I hope you are anyway..!) Although HTML5 is still technically under development (yes - still! - despite it being 15 years since the standardisation of HTML4!) it feels like it's starting to be very settles now at long last.  I'm now happily turning off Flash on many sites and allowing the web browser to just work the way it should. I hope you are. Great article for non geeks here on the BBC website - ironically its embed options are limited to Flash though !!