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Patriot Act

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What is the Patriot Act?

The Patriot Act is an Act of Congress in the United States that became a law in 2001, under President George W. Bush. “Patriot” is actually an acronym in the phrase “USA PATRIOT” for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.” It is more commonly known by the fear it instills in the public that their data is being collected without their consent. The purpose of the act is to give the government access to any data that could be useful in identifying acts of terrorism. However, there are speculations that the privilege is being taken advantage of.

The Controversy Surrounding the Patriot Act

The passing of the act sparked much controversy. Here are a few examples of the opinions of the very vocal opposition to the act:

  • Since the bill was passed soon after the attacks on 9/11, there would have been little resistance when attempting to pass the act.
  • The act has condoned increased, unlawful monitoring of the public.
  • EPIC (The Electronic Privacy Information Center) proposes that the act “gives the FBI a ‘blank check’ to violate the communications privacy of countless innocent Americans.”
  • Search warrants are not used when tapping into private communications, such as voicemail messages.

Employer Prevention of Candidate Data Security Breaching

As an employer possessing sensitive candidate information, the threat of a data breach is something to be taken seriously. You don’t want your candidates to feel as though their provided information can be accessed/stolen easily. Here are some ways to ensure that information from candidates’ applications is secure, regardless of the Patriot Act:

  • Be wary of your activity online, backup all of your files.
  • Transfer or open an office to a location outside of the act’s jurisdiction.
  • Use a cloud-based server for candidate information that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act

The last bullet point is the easiest and best solution. Few large HR tech companies fit the bill, however. Recruitee’s servers are safe, secure, and outside of the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act. This means that your candidates’ information isn’t subjected to random searches or monitoring. They can feel safe knowing that you, as an employer, use Recruitee‘s applicant tracking system.