social networks

Maryland Legislature to Employers: Hands Off Facebook Passwords

(También en Español)

News of Note: Maryland Legislature to Employers: Hands Off Facebook Passwords

The state of Maryland just passed the first bill in the nation that bans employers from asking for the social media passwords of job applicants and employees.

Maryland should be congratulated for not only standing up for online privacy, but privacy in general. Logging into someone’s private Facebook account can easily be compared to reading their mail, and may be even more intrusive. I’m very happy to see Maryland taking the first step and hope that this is the beginning of a positive trend.

Facebook privacy protection law shot down by Congress

(También en Español)

News of Note: Facebook privacy protection law shot down by Congress

The US House of Representatives has shot down proposals which would have prevented businesses from collecting Facebook log on credentials as part of their employee vetting procedures.

The law had been proposed by Colorado representative Daniel Perlmutter.

Perimutter suggested that the proposals would have given an important measure of privacy to end users.

“No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment,” Perlmutter said.

“Both users of social media and those who correspond share the expectation of privacy in their personal communications.”

We can’t expect job seeker’s private lives to meet the same neutral and public-friendly image that businesses try to maintain within the public sphere. Honesty and authenticity are endearing human traits yet these businesses are not concerned with living truthful lives. When you exist for profit it is both unfair and hypocritical to impose that lifestyle on those that depend on you for survival.

While mega-corporations (looking at you Google) continue to combine every strength the internet has to offer into one all-encompassing hub, culture is being condensed. With the judging eyes of our peers (and employers) sharpening focus everyday, will humanity become less progressive, even mundane?

Creative Commons image by: BlakJakDavy

Employers ask job seekers for Facebook passwords

(También en Español)

News of Note: Employers ask job seekers for Facebook passwords

In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person’s social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.

“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it “an egregious privacy violation.”

What about relationship status, sexual orientation, and religious belief? I don’t expect all the details of someone’s personal life to be completely agreeable with every employer and I certainly don’t expect them to use all the information they obtain in an unbiased way. The work environment is one that demands neutrality and tolerance. When companies pry into the private lives of their employees, they are venturing where they were never intended to go.

It is naive to believe anything online is private? We live in a world that is becoming more transparent everyday. If the truth about each of us is forced onto the table, how will society react? I don’t think it is reasonable for employers to ask for Facebook passwords during interviews but I do believe it is inevitable. Are you ready to show the world your true self?

Creative Commons image by: jakeliefer