Young people posting private and personal information on social networking sites could find themselves virtually unemployable, Google’s Chief Executive Eric Schmidt warned this week.

The search engine supremo said advances in technology mean those posting party pictures or any information about themselves deviating from the norm could be excluded by corporations to the extent that they’ll need to change their entire identities, he predicted.

‘I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,’ Mr Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal. “I mean we really have to think about these things as a society.”

His predictions came less than a year after US cops were already revealed to be routinely trawling social networking sites for evidence of law breaking with some using fake Facebook profiles of sexy girls to spy on young people, including clean cut college students they suspected of underage drinking.

One such student, Adam Bauer, 19, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, described accepting a friend request from an unknown though attractive girl, in an interview with local newspaper the Lacross Tribune which was followed several weeks later by an unexpected demand from police to attend his local cop shop.

At the station he was presented with printouts of photos of him holding a can of beer taken from his private Facebook account and was promptly charged with underage drinking. Though Adam denied the charges, he was subsequently ticketed and ordered to pay a US$227 fine.

The Tribune said Adam was one of ‘at least 8’ young Lacrosse people snared in similar social networking police scams, which local policeman AL Iverson claimed are justified because such pictures ‘glamorize alcohol consumption and binge drinking’

“Law enforcement has to evolve with technology,” PC Iverson added, “It has to happen. It is a necessity —not just for underage drinking.”

Jonty Skrufff

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