[Foundation-l] Background checks at Wikimedia
mgodwin at wikimedia.org
Sun Dec 16 01:06:39 UTC 2007
> This is, clearly, good and sensible practice. I am, however, noting
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings is clearly targeted
> at a
> world-wide base of possible applicants. How would a USA-based
> (such as the firm you have retained) be able to carry out any criminal
> checks for such applicants outwith the USA? In the case of the UK,
> and I
> am sure other European and World countries, such information is not
> available to others than the law enforcement organisations of those
There are USA-based firms that do international criminal background
checks, and the firm we have retained is one of these. We are also
aware (and I for one am fairly acutely aware) of the difference in
privacy regulation among the various nation-states.
Certainly an applicant from a nation-state with different privacy laws
could game the background-check system to some extent, but we hope
this doesn't happen too often. What we're obligated to do under state
and federal law is "due diligence" with regard to background checks --
we are not obligated to be perfect (no one is), and if information is
unavailable to us because of another nation's privacy laws, the
critical question is not whether we get it or not, but whether we do
what any reasonable company in the same or similar circumstances would
do. Moreover, we are obligated under U.S. law to take pains that
personnel background checks are not disclosed to unauthorized persons.
> Or is it intended that only US-citizens could be accepted for
> any staff position with the WMF?
This must be more of that UK irony stuff I've been hearing about from
Thomas. As an American, I am forbidden by international law to
understand it, because I know sports better.
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