The Office of Personnel Management is preparing for a pilot program to automatically track public social media postings of people applying for security clearances.
OPM is conducting market research to find companies that can perform automated social media tracking and other types of Web crawling as part of the background investigation process, according to an April 8 request for information posted online. Responses from interested companies are due by April 15.
OPM is looking for companies that can automatically browse “publicly available electronic information,” which includes information posted to news and media sites; Facebook, Twitter and other social media postings; blog postings; online court records, updates to photo and video-sharing sites; and information gleaned from online e-commerce sites, such as Amazon and eBay.
OPM is interested in companies that have fully automated capabilities — “with no human intervention,” according to the RFI — with the ability to search for information “in the parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard search engines.”
Companies should also have a “robust identity matching algorithm” that won’t get tricked by similar names and return irrelevant results.
The pilot project tests the feasibility of obtaining social media tracking from commercial vendors and will be a joint effort between OPM, which is responsible for performing most federal employee background checks, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to an OPM spokesman.
Testing of the new tech will be conducted on a population of 400 investigations, the spokesman said, although there’s still no word on when the pilot project is set to get underway.
Credit to technocracy.new