[conspire] Interesting recruiting develoipment

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jan 13 15:20:07 PST 2020

Quoting Texx (texxgadget at gmail.com):

> For a number of years, recruiters have asked for month and day of birth and
> last 4 or 5 digits of SS#.

The interesting question is:  Why ask?  With that or any other such
information (certainly including copy of driver's licence), the first
obvious thing to do is politely ask the recruiter why he/she is
requesting this.

You would either get no answer or a bullshit answer (which includes
'It's our policy' or 'It's just a part of our process'), or (unlikely) a
real answer -- but that's the first thing I'd do.  (Bear in mind that
the shlub you're talking to probably doesn't actually know.)

Then, you could either give false data or 'I will happily give that
information to the prospective employer after receiving a job offer.'
(Technically, SSN should be an exception.  No part of your SSN should
be furnished except to HR on your first day of work.)

We could have a long discussion about the illegitimate, harmful,
unlawful uses of such information, but IMO that's really beside the
point.  (I'll note in passing that, if you know the last four digits of
SSN and birthplace of someone who got an SSN prior to 2011, you can
determine the full SSN.  See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_number#Historical_structure )

The _actual_ answer is usually 'We use Vendor Management System software
that generates a unique internal identifier for you that tracks what
jobs you've applied for through us.  In the event that other recruiting
firms also submit applications purporting to represent you, if we
submitted the magic identifying digits along with your resume _first_
before they did, then we get the recruiter cut if you get hired, rather
than them.'

Basing that identifier number on four or five SSN digits is of course
extremely bad software design.  The world is full of bad software

If the recruiter were to tell me 'We want to be able to check to ensure
that you are legally authorised to work in the USA' I would offer to
let the recruiter hold and examine for a few seconds, but not photocopy,
my US passport.

> In the last month, they are now asking for a copy of drivers licence
> instead.

Sounds illegitimate.

> I recall that drivers licenses are public record.

No, they're not.

  Your DMV information

  California Vehicle Code 1808 and the Public Records Act (Government Code
  Section 6253 et seq.) provide that information collected by the
  Department is generally considered public information and is subject to
  inspection by the public. Exceptions to this public disclosure
  obligation include: Personal Information and Confidential Information.

  Personal Information

  Under the Information Practices Act, “personal information” is
  information that “identifies or describes an individual, including, but
  not limited to, his or her name, social security number, physical
  description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial
  matters, and medical or employment history.” Under the Driver’s Privacy
  Protection Act, “personal information” is information that identifies an
  individual, including an individual’s photograph, social security
  number, driver identification number, name, address (but not the 5-digit
  zip code), telephone number, and medical or disability information.

  Confidential Information

  Confidential information includes, but may not be limited to, an
  individual's home address (California Vehicle Code Section 1808.21),
  home telephone number (Government Code Section 6254.3), physical/mental
  information (California Vehicle Code Section 1808.5), social security
  number (California Vehicle Code Section 1653.5), and photograph
  (California Vehicle Code Sections 12800.5 and 13005.5). Confidential
  home addresses will only be released when the department determines the
  release is necessary to complete a DMV transaction or is authorized by
  law. Other requests for disclosure of any confidential information must
  include a state or federal statute that authorizes or requires the
  department to release such information.

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