What’s A Sourcer’s Take On Privacy?

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Jul 23, 2012

I was reading about an interesting survey that examined people’s views of online privacy. It claimed that nearly everyone is concerned about privacy, that almost 4 in 5 people delete cookies and that 85% wouldn’t download a mobile app if they had privacy concerns about it.

Gregory Ferenstein joyfully skewers the statistics on Techcrunch. He has a point. Many people I know don’t even know about browser cookies much less some of the nuanced privacy settings of ad networks, search engines and social networks. The unusually high statistics don’t necessarily pass the sniff test.

It made me think about the privacy issue in the context of sourcing though. What do sourcers really think of online privacy issues?

Creepy apps and social media openness

Sourcers are the beneficiaries of a lot of open information. Whether it is a resume posted on a personal site, LinkedIn profile that is left open to the public, a phone number that gets posted to an online directory or even creepy social apps, sourcers use this information to find the people they need.

I think most would think sourcers do it for a good cause. Presenting a new opportunity to a person is generally well accepted (even if they aren’t necessarily interested). In most cases, even in rejection of the opportunity, the person’s whose information was found isn’t terribly worried about the privacy issues involved in getting their information in the first place.

The bigger issue is two-fold: if sourcers can find information, so can all kinds of people that might not have good intentions. Also, if the tide does eventually turn to more awareness and privacy (or, maybe worse: laws), this could impact how well sourcers can do their job.

The $64,000 question(s)

So, what’s your view when it comes to online privacy? How do you balance your personal need of getting information from relatively open sources versus the risk of having the information you can find publicly available? Would you be willing to sacrifice some of your availability of getting information about candidates for possibly more security for those who don’t know better? Do you take better care of privacy because you know more about how much can be found out or are you generally an open book?

Definitely interested in your comments about this. I think sourcers are one group of people that have a truly unique take on privacy.

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