The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Privacy issues extend into college job applications

Justin Wolstenholme, Reporter

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NKU Chase Law and Informatics Society is developing an outreach program where students present at local middle schools to teach students about the impacts of privacy. In addition, NKU Chase Law and Informatics Society are debating purchasing a booth at the Tech Law in Chicago.

College graduates might not land jobs due to images and posts they upload online, according to Matthew K. Ryan, president of the Chase Law and Informatics Society.

“Images and posts are out there and employers are protecting their investment,” Ryan said. “In reality, businesses conduct Google searches of you and only focus on the bad.”

Ryan also said that the major problem with college students and social media is that they are not thinking five to 10 years into the future.

“They’re [students] thinking about what they are doing at that moment; getting drunk or high,” Ryan said. “Not about the future implications of their actions.”

According to college students at NKU, these are personal images and posts that are considered private. But are they?  

A story published by The Northerner regarding password security is just the tip of the iceberg surrounding this issue.

Ryan said that there is no privacy left; what students have done is always going to be out there.

Social media giants Buzzfeed and Facebook use personal information to gather data and develop social influence.

The term used for this process is coined behavioral marketing. According to an article published on mediapost.com, Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said that it raises a major privacy red flag.

“It doesn’t matter where teen users are online, Facebook will create detailed digital dossiers without their permission based on what they click,” Markey said in a statement published on mediapost.

Megan Whiles, senior communication major and public relation minor, said that the information you put on Facebook is “free game.”

Whiles explained that “free game” is the information posted by people on social media sites and can be used by marketers to reach their intended audiences.

“If you’re adding information about yourself to Facebook or any kind of social media network, then I feel that you are not considering that information to be very personal,” Whiles said. “If a marketer wants to use that information to be able to tailor to their specific audience then they should be able to.”

Whiles added that as long as it’s in a public setting, information people give to the public is not an invasion of their privacy.

Due to the controversy over how data is collected by these social media sites, privacy has delved into what companies own and what individuals own.

Ryan asked the question, “If I conduct business through my personal phone, have I given the right to that company?”

Ryan said that all students, not just college, should to be aware of these issues and make better conscious decisions.

Students will receive pro-bono credits for attending outreach programs and obtain free entry into the Tech Law conference in Chicago, where tickets can be $1,800 each.

For more information contact Matt Ryan at ryanm7@mymail.nku.edu

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Privacy issues extend into college job applications