Job Searching in the Networked Environment: Consumer Privacy Benchmarks
Roadmap: 2003 Job Search Privacy Study – Job Searching in the Networked Environment: Consumer Privacy Benchmarks: I. Executive Summary
Job seekers, when applying for a job using electronic formats, experience less privacy and freedom than they do in non-electronic formats.
In a mere decade, job searching has evolved from primarily a paper and file-cabinet affair to an arena that is nearly completely digitized. Resumes, no matter what the originating form — fax, email, or paper — are now scanned, sorted, shuffled, stored and datamined in a bewildering assortment of ways. This changed applicant process has, overall, not had a beneficial effect on the job seeker.
This research was conducted with several purposes in mind. First, it set out to document and benchmark the privacy practices at the leading job search sites and list those practices openly so consumers could make informed decisions about each site based on fact.
The premise of this report and the analysis of site practices and issues in this report is based upon the canon of Fair Information Practices, particularly as expressed in the eight principles of Fair Information Practices outlined in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 1980 Guidelines.  These guidelines form the basis of most modern international privacy agreements and national laws. The principles were agreed upon by member countries, including the United States. These principles and guidelines are referred to throughout the report either as the principles of Fair Information Practices, or as the OECD guidelines.
The following issues are highly relevant to job applicant privacy as found in the research conducted for this study.