23 Lab. Law. 19 (2007-2008)
Googling Job Applicants: Incorporating Personal Information into Hiring Decisions

handle is hein.journals/lablaw23 and id is 35 raw text is: 


Googling Job Applicants:

Incorporating Personal
Information into
Hiring Decisions

     Robert Sprague*

1. Introduction
     The early twenty-first century has witnessed an explosion of par-
ticipatory Internet activity. By mid-2006, there were an estimated
50 million blogs-Internet diaries in which individuals chronicle their
lives or comment on issues of interest to them.1 It is also estimated that
over 100 million individuals maintain personal Web pages (profiles)
on social networking sites (such as MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster)-
sharing information with friends (other users of the social network-
ing site) and publishing a wide variety of personal information for the
world to see.2
    At the heart of this growth in the publishing of personal informa-
tion on the Internet is a technology referred to as Web 2.0. Though
there is some dispute as to the exact meaning of the term, it generally
refers to a twenty-first century advance in Internet technologies that
promotes collaborative intelligence and facilitates mixing different ap-
plications within a Web site (such as publishing photos, sharing files,

    *J.D., MBA, Assistant Professor, Department of Management & Marketing, University
of Wyoming College of Business. The author wishes to thank Stephen P. Smith, J.D., Uni-
versity of Wyoming College of Law, 2008, and Michael Shirley, Bus. Ad., University of
Wyoming College of Business, 2008, for their excellent assistance in performing research
for this paper.
    Googling is derived from the Internet search site, http://www.google.com, oper-
ated by Google, Inc. To use Google to search the Internet for a person, place, event, story,
or document has entered the lexicon as the verb to google. Googling someone refers
to searching the Internet for information about that person. Google is a trademark
of Google, Inc. The name Google is derived from Googol, the mathematical term for
a 1 followed by 100 zeros. Google's play on the term reflects the company's mission to
organize the immense amount of information available on the web. Company Overview,
http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/index.html (last visited May 25, 2007).
     1. See David Sifry, Chief Executive Officer of Tehnorati, State of the Blogosphere
(Aug. 7, 2006), http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000436.html.
    2. See Alex Dobrota, When Previous Lives Can Come Back to Haunt, GLOBE AND
MAIL (CANADA), Oct. 11, 2006, at Cl. See also Amanda Lenhart et al., Social Networking
Websites and Teens:An Overview, PEW INTERNET & AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT, Jan. 7,2007, at
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/198/report-display.asp (noting that over 50% of online
teens have created personal online profiles on social networking sites such as MySpace
and Facebook).

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