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November 14 2019

British Standard 7858 has had a 2019 makeover to include guidance on social media screening

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has issued changes to the BS7858 which sets out requirements for companies carrying out background screening for employees in a secure environment.

BS7858:2019 came into effect at the end of September and replaced BS7858:2012, which will be withdrawn on 31 March 2020.

Amongst the updates to the new standard are recommendations around the use of social media screening. BSI are increasingly aware that what employees post on social media may create problems for businesses operating in secure and regulated environments.

The BSI now say: “For some roles, it might be prudent to seek additional information using best practice social media and other open-source internet checks to provide greater insights and reduce risk.”

In the update they also add a warning in the foreword about who should be carrying out the screening:

“…while social media and other open-source internet checks are now mentioned, they are not a provision of the standard and can only be used as additional information in any employment decisions. Care is to be taken when using this method so as not to introduce any unlawful discrimination…”.

Verifile’s Founder and CEO, Eyal Ben Cohen, said: “While social media checks have only been introduced as a recommendation, it does indicate that BSI’s guidance on the use of social media and open-source internet checks will soon become common practice.”

Other changes worth pointing out include:

To discuss social media, open internet screening, fraud and identity checks, plus all the other checks that are needed for compliance with BS7858, contact your account manager or client services on +44 (0) 1234 339 350 or via