Should it be illegal to ask employees for Facebook passwords
We all know by now that potential employers check up on our Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites to try and get some inside information about us which will either work in our favor or against us (most likely against us given the type of trash and compromising photos some people seem to publicly post on their Facebook profiles). Hence why many of us are now very careful with our privacy settings. Well now, as the world increasingly moves towards a George Orwell 1984 type scenario, some employers have taken things to the next level and have started demanding the Facebook login name and password of job applicants, especially those with locked-down privacy settings.
Of course this has caused outrage among civilians, even Facebook is non too pleased according to the article I read. What is going on with the world? Under no circumstances should this ever be necessary. Surely a series of good old fashioned job interviews should be enough for an employer to determine whether someone is the right person for the job and a good upstanding citizen? Why should their private life come into it? And if it's not enough then the employer should re-examine their vetting process.
Some employers are asking job applicants for user names and passwords upfront while others demand that you sign a pledge to never badmouth the company on Facebook or make friends with the person in charge of human resources so that they can monitor your Facebook activity. Otherwise, as a compromise, you might be asked to "shoulder surfing! by which you log in in front of your employer and let them go through your account under your supervision. Some kind of compromise that is!
Sadly, some employees are agreeing to these procedures out of desperation to get the job. The practice is most common among law enforcement agencies and other public employers, who look for gang affiliations, damning photos, or other disqualifying information. According to Capt. Mike Harvey of the Spotsylvania County, Va., sheriff's department:
"In the past, we've talked to friends and neighbors, but a lot of times we found that applicants interact more through social media sites than they do with real friends,"
The good news is that some people in power out there recognize the wrong in this, namely Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and they are proposing new laws to bar the practice. According to them, the practice probably violates anti-discrimination laws, since it potentially gives companies a look at an applicant's religious views, ethnicity, sexual preference, and other protected information. It may also flout laws against unauthorized access to electronic data. Facebook agrees, noting that sharing your password also violates the company's terms of service, and could open employers to lawsuits.
Blumenthal and Schumer have asked the Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to rule on whether Facebook fishing is already illegal, but Blumenthal says a new law might be "necessary to stop unreasonable and unacceptable invasions of privacy."
To me. it's just a reflection on the laziness of employers to follow up on references in the proper fashion and conduct proper job interviews. To snoop around in people's Facebook or Twitter accounts is a total invasion of privacy and makes me sick. We should be allowed to keep our private and professional lives separate. There are people out there that have dark pasts and behave inappropriately in their private lives, making them unsuitable for certain jobs, but why should the rest of us have to be subjected to this violation just because of a select group of people.
So for me, the answer is YES, it SHOULD be ILLEGAL to ask employees for their Facebook passwords and user names and let's hope these issues are quashed before they've properly begun.
Sources of Information
The post is made up of the author's original content, or is a compliation of material from various places.