Saturday, February 19, 2011

Employer Demands Facebook Login From Job Applicants

Employers demanding access to employees online personal accounts. Does anyone honestly believe that an employer, regardless of the position, deserves such intimate access to your personal life? Certainly not for a shitty Department of Corrections job. Perhaps for a job in something like the Secret Service, CIA, or NSA this could be justifiable but nothing in private corporations or in basic civil service jobs.

I know this is probably going to be a shitstorm if it hits bigger media.

So let me know what you think.

Should Employers Be Allowed to Ask for Your Facebook Login?

By Alexis Madrigal
The American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the cause of a Maryland man who was forced to cough up his Facebook password during a job interview with the Department of Corrections in that state. 
According to an ACLU letter sent to the Maryland Department of Corrections, the organization requires that new applicants and those applying for recertifications give the government "their social media account usernames and personal passwords for use in employee background checks."
The ACLU calls this policy "a frightening and illegal invasion of privacy" and I can't say that I disagree. Keep in mind that this isn't looking at what you've posted to a public Twitter account; the government agency here could look through private Facebook messages, which seems a lot like reading through your mail, paper or digital.
While it's not surprising that some employers might want to snoop in your social media life, it strikes me as a remarkable misapprehension of what Facebook is to think that it should be wholly open for background investigations. Legally, things are probably more complex, but it seems commonsensical that carte blanche access to your communications should be off-limits.
The case also shows a downside to Facebook's scale. It stands to reason that the bigger they get, the more that employers and others concerned with the age-old enterprise of covering their asses will feel the need to know what their employees are up to on the service. That alone isn't going to derail the Facebook juggernaut, but it might slow down people's engagement on the site as they realize maybe a private, unknown e-mail account is a better way of sending sensitive messages.
Here's the Maryland man, Officer Robert Collins, describing what happened in his specific case:
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  1. Ask all you want. Im a facebook hater. No facebook account

  2. This facebook thing is getting way to far. I really don't like it and I hope people wake up.

  3. It´s really getting out of control

  4. This is ridiculous. hope this guy sues the pants of that employer

  5. That is deff wrong.
    Following & Supporting

  6. wow, talk about an invasion of privacy. I hope he sues for all they're worth.

  7. That is a massive breach of personal privacy. Following :)

  8. No. I think it's a matter of privacy. :)

  9. no thats messed up, really takes away from our privacy

  10. hell no! talk about invasive. i have nothing to hide but still, ill let them in on what i want them to know about my personal life, as long as it doesnt violate my terms of employment.

  11. I don't think it should be allowed because it's your personal life!

  12. there is no way in the hell they should have such a privilege... if any of my future employers saw the insanity on my facebook, i would be fired before i got hired...