By Roma Blackham, Marketing —
Facebook stalking is a common ritual in the dating world, and it can tell you a lot about your romantic interests. But what if that were the only tool used to evaluate potential suitors? You might reconsider what you posted to attract the right attention. In the professional world, Facebook has become a go-to for employers to screen potential job candidates. But as of May 13, 2016, the government now uses current employees’ social media accounts to determine whether individuals can be trusted with confidential material and gain security clearance.
The New Social Media Directive
In an effort to ensure that only trustworthy federal employees are entrusted with classified information, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued a new directive, Directive 5, allowing federal agencies to review and consider federal employees’ social media activity before giving them security clearance. This new directive is an attempt to help weed out untrustworthy employees and to ensure that the employee seeking security clearance is loyal to the United States and does not have ulterior motivations for gaining security clearance.
New Policy Problems
A new directive may seem like the next logical step for the US government due to the intricate part social media plays in Americans’ everyday life, but this new policy leads to the question of whether the current security clearance process is as thorough as it should be. Are government agencies using all the tools available to them to ensure that only loyal and trustworthy employees receive access to sensitive material? Confidential material is important to national security. Just as you would not judge a date solely on his or her Facebook profile or Twitter account, the government should use other means to determine if employees can be trusted.
Using Other Resources
One such means of evaluating the trustworthiness of employees is through EyeDetect, a lie detector software with an average accuracy of 85%. This alternative to the polygraph test can help assess individuals’ trustworthiness and loyalty to the US government, preventing dishonest or disloyal employees from gaining access to sensitive material. In combination with the new social media directive, EyeDetect can help accurately evaluate candidates for security clearance and better protect the country’s interests.
Photo courtesy of Jurgen Appelo.