A Social Networking Bill Of Rights? MaybeBy: Drew Bowling - April 5, 2012
By now you’ve likely heard of last month’s scandal about employers requiring employees to hand over their passwords to their personal Facebook accounts or else get fired/not hired. While it still appears to be a continuing problem, the issue reached Congressional levels of debate and even prompted a response from Facebook.
So is this going to be another chapter in the saga of protecting online privacy that needs to be fought at a political and legal level? It’s too early to tell, but it’s not the most encouraging start. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights aimed at protecting internet users’ personal information, but given that the whole Employer-Facebook-Passwordgate problem of last month is happening in the offline life, it’s possible that eventually specific legal protections will need to be provided to internet users against such privacy invasion. The team over at BackgroundCheck.org put together an infographic that details the problems of this disturbing practice and sketches out a hypothetical Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights that guarantees protection from overly snoopy employers (or any other superiors trying to coax out your personal password to Facebook).
So tell us, is this really the direction that our culture is going in? Are we really going to need to establish legal protections for each separate sphere of our online life so that we aren’t under constant harassment go share information we don’t want to share? Tell us what you think in the comments.