Saturday, March 07, 2009

We've Got A File On You

"More than 40 major British companies face legal action for allegedly buying secret personal data about thousands of workers they wanted to vet before employing them."

Am I surprised? No. More than once, especially when I was looking for a job with a furious determination 18 months ago, I got to a third or fourth interview, only to be told that they were not going to proceed with the application. In order to know how I could secure employment, I asked why. A good person asks why.

The answers I was given were so vague and thinly plausible I thought it bullshit. The answers did not match up with my experience. Am I on a blacklist? Maybe. I don't know.

I heard rumours of a blacklist that covered 30,000 people in the country. A mysterious list that details the political allegiances, union activities, and potential problems with 'trouble maker' employees.

What is most galling, upsetting, infuriating is that someone is making a living out of preventing others from working. That the list is unilateral, one-sided, and the accused are without redress. I could have been prevented from working many times, have lost thousands of pounds, for an ignorant, and biased piece of character assasination that I did not even know existed.

40 firms paid £3,000 a year, and £2.20 per name, to see if potential employees were reported to be of a certain character. All it now takes is each of the 3,312 names on this database to have had their job applications to any of those 40 firms rejected, and for a successful legal action against these firms for lost earnings on the grounds of discrimination, for justice to be served.

BBC Link.

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