As beautiful a place as Santa Barbara, CA is, there’s something very, very ugly happening there. Social Intelligence, a company that supports the human resource function at other companies, has started selling intelligence it gathers on you from social media and social networking sites like Facebook.

This might not be noteworthy, except that Social Intelligence went out of their way to get permission from the FTC to offer this service.

So, to be very clear, and very simplistic, an agency of the United States Federal Government has approved your “gee, I thought that was private!” information being gathered and passed around.

Business Change? Well, it’s obvious what’s changed for Social Intelligence, but the question is: will you finally pay more attention to the way you conduct social networking?

Swearing in print/online/on video, etc., isn’t OK. Do you feel like venting about your employer? Facebook isn’t the place for that. And remember: “Last Night Never Happened”, and services like it, don’t work. They can try, and they might help, but ultimately they simply can not really protect you from you.

But YOU can.

Whether you’re a teenager, a young adult already in the work force, or an established executive, please, please, PLEASE make sure that the things you put on social networking sites can’t come back to hurt you.

Because sooner or later, Social Intelligence will find your faux pas. And you aren’t going to like it.

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