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Web of Lies?

Investigating potential employees online can hurt your business if you're not careful.

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This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Start Up.

Question: I'm thinking about hiring my first employee and am looking at three very well-qualified candidates. Is there anything legally wrong with researching each candidate on the web and seeing what I can find out about their backgrounds?

Answer: The short answer is no. When someone puts information about themselves on the internet, there's no reasonable expectation of privacy. But (and it's a big but), you should be careful when using any information you find about a candidate on the web, for two reasons: The information may be false or misleading, and the information may cause you to discriminate illegally against a candidate.

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