Beware - Big Brother is watching you get drunk

Inbox: 'If you're good at your job then your personal life is none of their business'

Inbox: 'If you're good at your job then your personal life is none of their business'

The weekly Inbox column collects the best and most thought-provoking of the reader comments receives each week.

This week's inbox is bursting with comments around two related themes: surveillance and privacy. First - the high tech hangover from hell, with the revelation that what you do on social networking sites - like posting drunken photos - could harm your job prospects. But readers were split whether employers are right to snoop on potential recruits online. And second,'s exclusive story that ID cards are unreadable at present got readers well and truly riled. Finally this week, the Lords' claim that the UK is Big Brother capital of the world prompted some strong responses.

Don't forget to post your own response to any of these stories or comments by clicking here.

Drunk Facebook photos killing your job prospects?
Who's poking around your Facebook profile? If you're looking for a new job, it could well be the HR boss considering your application.

Don't mix business with pleasure
Regarding social networking site - you just have to be smart about it. For example, don't make your profiles on "friendly" social sites like Facebook public. For the "business/professional" side of Facebook, clump those contacts into a set of friends and share only things that will not get you in trouble...

For business-related sites like LinkedIn, keep it strictly business.

For Forums, don't use your real name. For blogging, consider an alias if you are writing about things like religion, politics, money or off-the-wall hobbies.

There's nothing wrong with posting information, provided you're smart about it...
Kelly Hair, New York

Personal life is none of their business
I completely disagree that you should have to manage two different profiles of yourself; 'internal' for friends and family, and 'external' for professional'.

The counter argument is 'if you put it out there then you're fair game', true but if you live in a small town and go drinking in a bar, is it OK for an employer to come down and spy on you? No.

If you prove yourself competent for the role in the interview then your personal life is none of their business.

It just shows how incapable recruiters are in making effective candidate assessments and how paranoid employers are.
Jack, London

References are key
If they can find hard evidence of a certain behaviour across an extended period of time, then they might want to think about it and check their references better.

My father was in personnel and executive recruitment all of his working life and said that the correct pursuit of references was worth more than any other part of the recruitment process.
Simon Allen, Hertfordshire

Read more comments on this story…

Exclusive: ID cards are here - but police can't read them
The first UK ID cards have already been issued - but no UK police officers or border guards have any way of reading the data stored on them.

Vote of no-confidence
Is anyone surprised by this? Anyone at all? Is it possible for the general populace to force a vote of no-confidence in the government?
Drew Stephenson, York

More money?
So the cost of the readers is not factored in as part of the overall project costs?

So how much is this really going to cost the few of us tax payers left in the country?
Anonymous, Woking

Scrap it

I do not believe the cost of this element has ever been included in their budget. At this time, surely the best thing they can do is scrap it.
Anonymous, UK

You think you could do better?
Surely it should wait until the economic cost of crime justifies the expense of rolling out the system.
Jonathan Baker, Birmingham

Read more comments on this story…

UK is Big Brother capital of the world say Lords
New powers are needed to combat a culture of "pervasive" surveillance that has seen the UK become the most spied upon country in the world, the Lords said today.

Private/public: blurring the lines
It isn't just the State - look at today's article on illegitimate use of social networking sites by employers. Taken with this article, it seems there are no longer any barriers behind which a person can legitimately hide. There is no difference, in the minds of some people, between "public" and "private". The fact that the State gives out the message that this blurring of public/private lives is acceptable just encourages companies and individuals to violate privacy with no justification.

I wish the upper House the best on this but feel that they first need to find a way of getting the British public to grow a backbone and actually start protesting about these issues.
Jeremy Wickins, Sheffield

Read more comments on this story…

Please note, comments may be edited for clarity, grammar, spelling, punctuation and style. The views expressed are not necessarily the views of You can write to by posting a Reader Comment below…