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Should Congress Move To Ban Employers From Demanding Employees’ Facebook Passwords?

Is it a big enough invasion of privacy to warrant government intervention?

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Should Congress Move To Ban Employers From Demanding Employees’ Facebook Passwords?
[ Social Media]

If your future employer or current boss asks you for your Facebook password, it might soon be against the law. That’s because there is new national legislation against the practice of employers demanding access to employees’ personal accounts.

A group of Democrats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced similar legislation, and it’s flying under the name “Password Protection Act of 2012.” What it hopes to do is to “enhance current law to assure that compelling of coercing employees into providing access to their own private systems and data…is prohibited.”

Have you ever been asked by an employer (or future employer) to hand over your social media passwords? Did you do it? Or did you feel like it crossed the line? Let us know in the comments.

In the Senate, the legislation was introduced by Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Soon after multiple outlets ran stories on this “rising trend” within some Human Resource departments, Blumenthal was one of the first U.S. legislators to speak out against the practice. Back in March, he said that he was “deeply troubled by the practices that seem to be spreading voraciously around the country,” and went on to call the password demands an “unreasonable invasion of privacy.” With those remarks, he also informed us that he was in the process of drafting a bill that would be ready soon.

A few days later, Blumenthal teamed up with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to deliver a request to the Department of Justice. They asked that both the DOJ and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “launch a federal investigation into a disturbing new trend.” Schumer has not left this cause either, as he is a co-sponsor of the new Password Protection Act.

Just days after that letter hit the Attorney General, a motion called “Mind Your Own Business on Passwords” failed in Congress. It would have made the employee password issue one monitored by the Federal Communication Commission. They would have had the right to declare the practice illegal.

So now these members of Congress are back with their own bills. Blumenthal’s Senate bill reads like this in the “prohibited activity” section:

acting as an employer, knowingly and intentionally -
(A) for the purposes of employing, promoting, or terminating employment, compels or coerces any person to authorize access, such as by providing a password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed, to a protected computer that is not the employer’s protected computer, and thereby obtains information from such protected computer; or
(B) discharges, disciplines, discriminates against in any manner, or threatens to take any such action against, any person – (i) for failing to authorize access described in subparagraph (A) to a protected computer that is not the employer’s protected computer; or
(ii) who has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this paragraph, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding;

Along with Blumenthal and Schumer, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) also sponsored the bill.

In the House, the companion legislation is being introduced by Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO). The crux of that bill is the same. Here’s some summary points from the House version of the Password Protection Act of 2012:

  • No Compelled or Coerced Disclosure. The Password Protection Act prohibits an employer from forcing prospective or current employees to provide access to their own private systems as a condition of employment. Examples of prohibited actions include forcing employees to—
  1. Hand over their private passwords to personal Facebook or Gmail accounts.
  2. Log into a password-protected account so that the employer may browse the account’s contents.
  • No Retaliation.  The Password Protection Act prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against a prospective or current employee because of a refusal to provide access to a password-protected account.
  • Narrow Remedy. The Password Protection Act only prohibits adverse employment-related actions as a consequence of an employee’s failure to provide access to their own private accounts. It preserves the rights of employers to—
  1. Permit social networking within the office on a voluntary basis.
  2. Set their own policies for employer-operated computer systems and accounts.
  3. Hold employees accountable for stealing data from their employers.
  • Enforcement. Employers that violate the Password Protection Act may face financial penalties only.

“Employers should have no more right to online passwords than they would to a person’s lending history at the library or a diary in their home,” said Senator Shaheen. “As Facebook and other websites become an increasingly important part of the daily lives of millions of people, we must be vigilant in protecting online privacy. This legislation provides an important safeguard for all Americans.”

“People have an expectation of privacy when using social media like Facebook and Twitter,” said Representative Perlmutter. “They have an expectation that their right to free speech and religion will be respected when they use social media outlets. No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment. Both users of social media and those who correspond share the expectation of privacy in their personal communications. Employers essentially can act as impostors and assume the identity of an employee and continually access, monitor and even manipulate an employee ‘s personal social activities and opinions. That’s simply a step too far.”

The ACLU praises the bill for its wider scope. By focusing on computer access (as opposed to simply access to one social network like Facebook), the bill is “flexible” and is able to “evolve to cover any new service.”

But the praise is not absolute. The ACLU laments that the Password Protection Act doesn’t provide the same type of protection for students – a group that was originally wrapped up in employer-password-gate. They say that the recently-introduced SNOPA privacy bill (that also tackles the Facebook password request issue) does a better job to protect students. The ACLU is also less-than-thrilled with some of the exceptions:

The legislation also includes unnecessary exceptions. One exception allows states to exempt government employees or employees who work with children under age 13. Another allows the executive branch to exempt whole classes of workers if they come into contact with classified information, including soldiers. These sections authorize sweeping and unnecessary fishing expeditions. There are already a broad range of tools for investigating misconduct. Further, internet activities constantly create many new types of records, and these can already be used against employees in investigations. Just because you work for the government or with children, you shouldn’t forfeit the right to a private life online.

It’s obvious why an employer would want access to a prospective employee’s social media account. That’s where all the good stuff resides. If you want to make sure you’re not hiring a certain type of person – someone who disses their former employer publicly or someone who could embarrass the company with certain lifestyle choices – Facebook might be a great way to screen candidates. But there’s a line and we have to draw it. Not only is it a gargantuan invasion of privacy to be forced into giving up access to private data, but it could end up harming employers in the long run. I’m sure employers don’t want to find themselves in a situation where they are being sued for discrimination, based on something they found via a Facebook search.

While the Password Protection Act isn’t perfect, it’s on the right track. State legislatures are also moving on the issue, as the California State Assembly just unanimously approved a similar bill. Now, along with SNOPA, we have two new bills attempting to protect employees’ rights on the national level.

Do you think that there should be a national ban on this practice? Should Congress step in and outlaw it outright? Let us know in the comments.

Should Congress Move To Ban Employers From Demanding Employees’ Facebook Passwords?
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  • STR82U

    Asking for social passwords is going too far and looks like it’s getting out of hand since the first public report. On the other hand, asking a prospect for their social usernames would be useful for hiring decisions and is no different than asking for references, plus access is controlled by the user’s privacy settings at Facebook.

    In practice, anytime someone is contracted by us we friend them personally. While it’s not for monitoring purposes it can be revealing; a stream that shows immature or unbecoming behavior is only embarrassing but if it shows derogatory, competitive or proprietary information you have to question a persons maturity, common sense and loyalty. It requires an employer have both a professional and private social profile, which FB probably dislikes, but it also puts the burden of monitoring employee activities on the employer while disclosing to the employee that they are scrutinized.

    That might raise another question about scrutinizing employees by their private/public activities but that’s going to be a lot trickier to regulate if it gets out of hand. Situations that could arise from assumptions could be quite damaging.

    • Kat

      The problem I see with even allowing an employer to ask for social user names is that even with privacy settings, some people elect not to use them. Then the question becomes whether or not the employer will judge a person based not only on his/her postings, but also on friends’ postings. Facebook friends are NOT references! I have many friends who are on my facebook with whom I do not agree on every issue. If my friend makes a post that creates an open dialogue with respect to a certain issue, such as a political candidate, how is the employer actually going to know which side of the debate I am on if I choose not to engage in that dialogue? Complete misunderstandings would run rampant, and I could be accused of something I don’t even know about. No, I think that an employer has no right to look at my scrapbooks, my journals, my cookbooks, or my facebook page, because there is far too much room for misinterpretation. If I am hired to do a job, then I should be retained based on my job performance, not my opinions that I don’t bring to work with me anyway. As an HR professional, should my employer request that I ask for employees’ passwords, user names, or even if they subscribe to social media, I would quit immediately.

    • Robert

      “Situations that could arise from assumptions could be quite damaging.” …emmm is that why you’re using STR82U as a name here?

      • https://plus.google.com/117895169424507660944 STR82U

        I use str82u because it’s been my online username for 13 years and is what most people are familiar with; sorry I forgot to add a link to my real name but it’s no different than Robert if you don’t add anything more identifying to it.

        I can’t say how I would react to an employer asking for that type of info in a hiring situation but from a webmaster’s point of view the user’s privacy is paramount and that extends beyond the electronic world.

  • Tod

    A Company of any kind should never be able to obtain or require any individual to give their Facebook password out to them. This is an insane invasion of privacy and is absolutely none of any Companies business at all. Quite frankly when I am not at work I consider what I do at home as None of the Companies Business I work for period. You cannot tell me that before Facebook people were not “bad mouthing” the people they worked for which is far worse than posting something on Facebook. A lot of people only have a specific amount of friends on Facebook that they share stuff with where as when somebody talks about a Company they work for it has a far more reaching effect. Let’s face it. Some Companies deserve the bad recognition they get.

  • http://www.marciewrites.com Marcie

    I have two thoughts on this issue. First of all, I already think that social media is already contributing to employment discrimination based on age, gender and race. I don’t have solid proof; it’s just my opinion.

    Second, to ask for someone’s passwords to make employment decisions is an invasion of privacy. And you don’t need to see their online behavior to determine their workplace behavior; they will show themselves true. But employers need to be ready to address these issues in person.

  • http://urksoutpost.blogspot.com/ Urk

    Anyone who has surrendered a password to an employer should be ashamed. That was not only an invasion of your privacy, it was an invasion of the privacy of anyone who has sent you a message. The employer is to be condemned, yes, but at least they aren’t betraying the confidences of their friends.

  • http://receptiabv.blogspot.com Russia

    We should not give your password to anyone.

  • Betty L Johnson

    We can now be followed by electronic devices in our cars and cell-phones..NOW employers want our Internet passwords? This is a complete invasion of privacy- If this comes to be my computer is going out the door. Now, I have to wonder if my home phone is tapped? Are we nearing the age of having that know-all, see-all, ‘chip’ implanted? WHAT is becoming of our Country? Is this the NEW WORLD ORDER? I want no part of it.

  • Al Haffar

    It is more apparent that GOV is really becoming more and more intrusive in our life. The GOV will go to any extent to control everything to include the people, of course the GOV is the ruling party.

    Business already goggles the employee, check MVDR, credit bureaus, public records for judgments, and so on, if that employee wants to work for that company and wants to get paid by that company then he or she need to play by their rules, and if that employee does not like these rules they should go and apply at another company. If more of us do that then companies will change their policies sooner or later.

  • http://whiteeagleaerie.com/ Nathan

    I will never surrender my social media passwords, and I have set a policy in my own company that doing so is prohibited. I hope the federal Canadian government passes similar legislation to what’s currently being done in the US.

  • http://www.firehow.com/2010052115002/how-to-commit-cyber-suicide.html Zed Power

    The digital nazis who rull our cyber universe will only get worse if we keep encouraging them.

    I am generally not for lawsuits because I think that if you spilt hot coffee in your own lap, you were doing something you should not have been doing anyway.

    But when an A-hole demands your private passwords he needs a good suing. Does he even understand the concept of a password? Everyone who every applied for work at an employer who asked for private social media passwords needs to be sued.

    • http://www.firehow.com/2010052115002/how-to-commit-cyber-suicide.html Zed Power

      Whoops, I mean needs to sue. The employer should be sued, not the applicants.

  • Pink Floyd

    We definitely need this law and more like it. Employers who strip their workers of civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution, through the mechanism of forcing them to sign a ‘voluntary agreement’ as a condition of even being considered for hiring, need to be stomped down hard. That behavior should be both a criminal offense and a civil tort; in a free country this would already be so.

    From mandatory urine testing (to determine ALL the medications an employee or prospective hire is taking) to this password nonsense, there is a consistent pattern across whole industries. It message is clear: “You will crawl and beg or you will not work. You will live under the boot heel of those who are better than you, and compete for the privilege of doing so.”

    Acts of sabotage – via physical, process and information vectors – are a moral imperative for those who find themselves in this situation: For example, those trapped by the necessity of supporting a family and who have no other options. If you are in this situation and fail to covertly deprive your abusers of more income than your labor earns for them, you lose. And we all lose.

    • Watching the Wheels

      OR people can figure out how to become self employed.

      I will NOT give out my private information, nor do I have any desire to work for anyone who stoops to such devious and insecure behavior.

      But then again, I will not join Facebook either. It completely turned me off during the initial joining process, so I canceled my membership.

      There’s just something a little too creepy about this crop of voyeuristic cyber Geeks, who get bought and paid for by Jim Breyer, Fred Wilson and the other Vulture Capitalists.

      For all you idiots who joined Facebook in the first place, …

      PICK UP THE PHONE, WRITE A FOR REAL LETTER, GO TO YOUR FRIENDS HOUSE. <——- Is this really that hard to do?

      Why are the lot of you allowing a geek like Zuckerberg any sort of creedance? He's a cyber peeping Tom, … NOTHING MORE.

      I HAVE DROPPED FREINDS WHO DECIDED THAT CYBER COMMUNICATION WAS THE ONLY WAY TO FLY.

      We don't NEED Congress to legislate anything. The American people NEED to grow backbones and a set of cajones, regardless of gender, AND JUST SAY NO!!!

  • http://www,pioneerexpresssafaris.com yofes mwesige

    I believe its a very grave attempt for an employer to ask the employees password. if this reason i wouldn’t doubt but rather leave my job. it show mistrust, lack of confidence, and illiteracy . i would in brief mean that the employer is cutting off communication to either avoid team social net working .i finally would like to say that employers should not at any one time be concerned about what worker do as long as they do it at the right time.
    Direct PIONEER EXPRESS SAFARIS
    www,pioneerexpresssafaris.com

  • http://www.kanddmarketing.com Dan Collins

    Companies believe they have the upper hand in this, among other things. They feel that you should live, breathe and die by the company’s rules, regulations and whims of the management and their legal department, when not at work. On top of that, they’ve managed to put enough money into the election of government officials that they really have no fear of retribution. Even the current bills in front of Congress are only a slap on the wrist, at best. Employers with true integrity, assuming such a thing exists in this day and age, should never want or need to delve into the personal lives of their employees.

  • Rodriguez

    This shouldn’t need a Law. It is common sense. Existing laws on privacy should be more than enough to protect an employee from being requested personal information that in no way relates to the job, qualifications to perform the assigned tasks or financial obligations (taxes). Congress needs to be focusing on more important things, the pay level demands it.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

    First off, Dick Blumenthal is a known liar (claimed he was a Vietnam vet, which he wasn’t, and when he got caught lying said he “misspoke”. He would’t have been elected to the U.S. Senate in an honest State … but he’s from Corrupticut), second, he’s not the brightest bulb in the room and don’t ever get between him and a news camera.
    As to his proposed legislation, he proposes that “employers” (read “big corporations”, even though he’s from a Billionaire family) can’t have access to your Facebook password but in the same legislation says that it’s “ok” for your school or college administrators and the Government (FBI, etc.) to have access to your Facebook password!
    Nannyism, Too-Big-Government … the world’s economy is in a big mess because of these two-bit clowns and crooks and their ill-conceived laws and interventions and what do they do …
    pile on.

  • http://travel365.us.tc dr. Robert

    I STRONGLY BELIEVE: That it should be against the law for any employer to ask an employee to have or gain access to an employees social platform. Hey, if we are going that far why not hand them our bank cards… Its bad enough they already posess our address, phone numbers, ssn, and our former employment history and criminal backgrounds… Further intrussion into our lives by our employers is not a surprise but a reminder of a country we fought in WW & WW2. The more info a company has the more info the government has. And the government already has it anyway. But in a world of identity theft who are we helping? I just changed my twitter linkedin paypal and aol passwords. Twitter and Paypal get hacked frequently.

  • Laurie

    I was not forced to give my password, but I added my boss as a friend to promote our properties. Within 1 1/2 months I was fired, he said I posted something about me doing narcotics on facebook! I said “why would I do that, my mother reads it!” He said “yes, why would you?”. I did not. Don’t know what he’s talking about.

  • http://www.marceauoneill.com Patricia Birren-Wilsey

    No, employers shouldn’t have access to employees’ private passwords – unless the employees are making unauthorized personal use of company computers/IT equipment while on the job. It would give the employer a way to measure how much time “on the job” is being squandered/stolen by the employee for personal activities.
    This matter would never have come up if employees just performed the jobs they were hired for, instead of fooling around using their employers’ computers for personal use. Employees are hired to work on behalf of employers…not to play around.

  • Candi

    I don’t understand how anyone could even think that this was a feasible option. Employers are taking advantage of the slow economy and taking advantage of individuals and their privacy. Of course they shouldn’t get password information? Will we get password information to their accounts? I bet if asked, they would be appalled. I think it’s terrible they way they would scrutinize an individual based on assumption – it simply is just not right – AT ALL! It’s always a bad idea to fratenize with your employees – why would you want to “spy” on them? If you don’t trust/like an employee let them go, but don’t let them go because you are spying on their private information and looking for something to be wrong. You can make anything wrong if you want to? Almost everything, certainly the written word, is up for interpretation. Seems like people should be judged on their performance in the work place and be empowered to be the best they can be not beaten down.

    I had an employer that was talking about a previous employee and said “man she was always on FB in the afternoon” I said is she doing her job? He said “yeah, but she’s not supposed to be home she’s suppose to be out selling” I asked “how do you know she’s on FB in the afternoon?” Oh my wife is on there he said. Well I say Bull _hit to that – we all know exactly who was on there in the afternoon? Let’s see….do you have to be at home to be on FB? NO, of course not. This man was as IT savvy as a much as a cat likes water. How ignorant! He let the lady go because she was on FB during normal working hours. He never told her she couldn’t? And the woman was doing her job. Where is the justice in any of that? I think the employers that want passwords are simple minded idiots that don’t have anything better to do.

  • http://www.sky-masters.com Alan Segal

    I do not think anyone should share their password. That is the reason there is a password – to keep other people out.

    If an employer asked for the key to your house so they can check it would you give them a copy of your key? What about the security system code?

    I believe most sites have in their TOS to share a password.

    How do employers know if you have a facebook account? If you don’t
    is that going to count against you because you aren’t using something that is used by a lot of people.

    PASSWORDS ARE PRIVATE – AND ARE USED TO KEEP OTHER PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT!

  • http://metoatee.com max

    We don’t need more laws. All we need is for people to exercise independent thought, free will and common sense. Oh, yes…and use the Golden Rule. Get rid of professional politicians.

    • Spamexterminator

      There already are laws they are called the privacy act and User Terms Of Service for all accounts that require a password. The ToS state if you share you password to your account they can terminate it, and that You are responsible for anything the person you shared your password with does under your name. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records absent the written consent of the subject individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions.

      1 The disclosure is to an agency employee who normally maintains the record and need it in the performance of duty;

      2 The disclosure is made under the Freedom of Information Act;

      3 The disclosure is for a “routine use;”

      4 The disclosure is to the Census Bureau for the purposes of a census survey;

      5 The disclosure is to someone who has adequately notified the agency in advance that the record is to be used for statistical research or reporting, and the record is transferred without individually identifying data;

      6 The disclosure is to the National Archives and Records Administration as a record of historical value;

      7 The disclosure is to an agency “of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity,” and if the record is provided in response to a written request by the head of the agency;

      8 The disclosure is made where there are “compelling circumstances” affecting someone’s health or safety, and the person whose health or safety is affected is sent a notification of the disclosure;

      9 The disclosure is made to Congress, or any committee or subcommittee within Congress;

      10 The disclosure is made to the Comptroller General in the course of the duties of the General Accounting Office;

      11 The disclosure is made pursuant to a court order;

      12 The disclosure is made to a consumer reporting agency in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e).

      • Spamexterminator

        The “Routine Use” is questionable but I’m pretty sure that cyber stalking isn’t Routine Use.

  • Blaine Dixon

    It is an invasion of privacy we need a law banning employers demanding access to our private email and social media

  • http://sites.google.com/site/justsayingmypiece/ Charlie

    It seems to me that we are, again, “straining at gnats and swallowing camels”; or, put another way “swatting at flies while elephants trample us”…with regard to employers seeking to learn all they can about prospective employees. I don’t think anyone can blame them for that, when you come right down to it, y’know?

    However…

    I am not saying I think its “OK” for employers to ask for passwords, any more than it would be “OK” for them to ask for the keys to their homes, or safety-deposit boxes. If employers want to learn more about would-be employees, it is up to them to do so through established “acceptable means”, within the laws already established about personal privacy, and within the laws of human decency…in my (humble) opinion.

    Unfortunately, as time goes on and technology becomes more and more “cloud-resident”, I believe privacy will be, once and for all, relinquished to the owners and operators and authorized-access ‘powers-that-be’.

    In other words, when medical, financial, employment, and other “personal records” become completely web-based (and they will!), those records will also become available to anyone who, through whatever means it takes, can gain access to them via the ‘cloud’ (web). Some entities will, of course, always have complete access through “legal channels”; like government and local law-enforcement; others might need to have your permission.

    But, needless to say, privacy as we once knew it is gone forever, I’m afraid…unless we can find a way to ensure our digital future can be more “secure” than we’ve experienced thus far. I’m just sayin’…

  • http://aspiritualparadigm.com Connie Kirkpatrick

    I have never had anyone want my social media information. I am public anyway. I have nothing to hide from anyone. Having said that, the idea that any employer has some twisted notion and needs to get into my accounts, tells me this is not someone I need to work for. What is he or she hiding? I have had employers stuck in their head and obsessed with sex. Because of this, there were plenty of innuendos thrown my way. Needless to say those jobs are a part of my history.

    Everyone has a right to privacy, personal lives, and secrets. EVERYONE.

    If I want you in mine, you will be invited. Otherwise, stay out. God is the only one who may bother and does not need my permission. But even she gives me my privacy and rights.

    Do as thou wilt, harm none.

  • http://carl-agpcuk.livejournal.com/ Carl Barron

    One 4 Billion Dollar contract was wiped out as I had stored the e-mail from the clients Attorney into an e-mail account, hence >BIG Businesses under threat Joe Public’s > Social media.

    This is a dangerous infringement of > Civil Liberty <. But to be quite honest I proved that during 1995 to 2005 even private mails was being intercepted by UK Corrupt Security Services Lady Dinna Maddock Baroness Diana Margaret Maddock then MP for Christchurch Dorset took up the case hence was made Lady Dinna Maddock, Most likely to Shut her UP. Not even your postal mail is safe in the UK when doing Big Business.
    Link @ http://nowtweet.it/2jv1

    All proof letters between parties are stored can be released.

    Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk
    Systems Formalist and Designer / inventor

  • Spamexterminator

    The best and easiest way to fight this is “NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE AND HOW DESPERATE YOU ARE FOR A JOB REFUSE TO GIVE THAT INFORMATION” The power is in your hands if they fire all their employees because they refuse to hand that information over and then refuse to hire anyone who wont willingly hand that info over they will find that they are up shit creep and they fired the paddle. Also if they ask you for such information “POST IT TO FACEBOOK IMMEDIATELY” There should be an app anyone up for the challenge lol. An App of a list of employers who ask for FaceBook Passwords. Make the shit public again the power is in your hands a company cannot survive without it’s employees. Their Company will sink they will no longer have the power to ask any such questions in fact they will be begging for people to come back to work. Don’t fall for it let them sink or better yet sue them for wrongful termination and/or take owner ship of the company. The employers of this nation have became the trash, there dealings have become so shady they are worried people will make it public. After all when was the last time anyone checked facebook to see if a company has any kind of bad rap. I bet never, the information they are worried you might post is most likely of questionable origins or of their illegal activities since no gives a shit about what a disgruntled employee has to say about a company.

  • Jordan Kratz

    My life out side of work is my own.It has nothing to do with my Employment.All I need to do is meet the Requirements for a Position and do my job right.There is absolutely no reason why any Employer should be granted a Right to look in someone’s private social networking.
    Only Gov & Law have that Right after obtaining a Warrant from a Judge !

  • Rob W

    What is all the fuss about? I don’t use FB nor will I. But if you do and you post every little detail of your life for all to see THEN why are you upset about someone asking for your PW?

    I mean, if you are posting all this info to a public forum then why get upset? What are you hiding?

    WANT PRIVACY? DON’T POST.

    • http://statisticalconsultants.co.nz Statistician

      Facebook has a private messaging component to it, which works in a very similar way to email. For many people, handing over their Facebook passwords, would have the same effect as handing over their personal email address passwords. This would invade the privacy of not just the individual account holder, but anyone who sent the individual a message with the reasonable expectation that some power abusing potential employer wouldn’t be looking at it.

      There is also the issue of handing over the power to change or delete the Facebook account. The user who hands over their password would have to change their Facebook password, and possibly other passwords (if they have used identical passwords for other online accounts).

    • MAL A

      Rob W:
      I fully agree with your comment.
      I don’t like the idea of so much personal detail that some people put out there on FARCE BOOK..
      Mal A

    • http://www.r-evolution-tv.com/ Henri H

      part i agree with you, if you post all your private stuff online don’t complain about not having any privacy. BUT to give your password! hello!! wake up man, o.k. so give your ATM or credit card code to your employer so they can check if you need the salary you get! If you use the work pc for private things, yes i think the employer should be able to say, that is not o.k. but demand access or even passwords to social media accounts is going way to far!

    • Spamexterminator

      if they want to read what you put on facebook the can view your profile. But asking for a PASSWORD is going way to far. If it was meant for your eyes it would be public if it wasn’t too effin bad maybe you should be a better employer if you are so insecure that u need to know what someone may be saying about you. I would not only quit or not take a job if an employer asks me for ANY of my passwords I would also SUE. American Citizens are protected under the Privacy Act. After all would you give me your private user account password to any of your accounts? I think not, for the same reason people shouldn’t give you theirs. It’s absolutely absurd, don’t ask me for mine and I wont ask you for yours. Here you are acting like it’s no big deal, we just want it to invade your privacy your account is other wise safe. Right! and we are supposed to take you at your word because you are an employer, I know what employers do with people e-mail addresses as soon as they receive one. People you think you personal information is safe with an employer, Think again. After doing a job search(offline walk-in office visits only) with my E-Mail Address on the Resumé I start getting a slew of Spam pointed at finding a job by shady job search sites I have never heard of before. They sell your E-Mail Addresses to Spammers, who in turn sell your E-Mail Address to other Spammers. How trust worthy can they actually be if u can’t even trust them with your E-Mail Address.

  • MAL A

    Using work computer, on work time ?
    Yes give over your password.
    Anything you want private use your own PC and time.
    Would you let a friend use your computer for persoanl use and
    PAY HIM/HER
    Mal

    • Spamexterminator

      I’m not sure this is happening as much as employers say it is. But employers will automatically get your personal information since they log everything everyone does on their Network. If it does happen too often there are several solutions; 1 block certain websites, 2 confront them about it, 3 take away their online privileges, and 4 if non of that works or isn’t possible, fire their azz. Asking for someone Password is not only unnecessarily offensive, but it also breaks the rules of the Privacy Act.

  • http://www.r-evolution-tv.com/ Henri H

    i find it incredible that apparently some people find this practice o.k.! where are we going with this? is there no privacy anymore? it is my right to do what i want in my spare time! As long as my work performance does not suffer it is none of their business what i do, who i do it with and why! unbelievable that people would give potential employers (direct or indirect) access to their social media! people wake up! stand up for your privacy rights! look at r-evolution-tv and see what this world is going towards!

  • Andrea

    When I receive an email or a private message by Facebook, It’s a personal message and must not be shared with a third party. That is forbidden by the Privacy rules of my Country and (I think) any Country.
    At most I may set my FB profile open as much as possible.

    • Spamexterminator

      That’s a good point add this to the bottom of your messages.
      –>
      This Message, including any attachments, is intended solely for the use of the named recipient(s) and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use disclosure or distribution of this communication is expressly prohibited.
      <–
      This is copied from an E-Mail I received from my Case Worker from the Friend of the Court. Then if they deliberately read your message you can nail their ass to the wall.

  • Walker Bennett

    Until recently, I had a career as a system and network administrator for quite a few large corporations (since the days of paper tape and Hollerith cards). My personal opinion has always been that any employer worthy to stay in business will act responsibility. My daily routine consisted of erasing and then wiping (overwriting with 0′s and 1′s) ALL company email logs on my servers. All personal accounts on my servers were controlled by a password algorithm developed in the 1980′s by Digital Equipment Corporation. It was a one-way algorithm in that passwords could be deleted and changed, but never retrieved. My hardware firewalls disallowed any access to Facebook or their ilk from work. What an employee did from home, was their problem and I protected them as much as I could in the workplace.

    I got into a moderate amount of trouble with the FBI and Homeland Security when they tried to serve a “National Security Letter” on the company I was in charge of and I tore it up in front of the agent. When they attempted to prosecute me, I proved that the data they were looking for didn’t exist, even on backups. They confiscated several servers (with a court order) for about six months and were unable to glean any non-corporate information from them.

    Remember, your system administrator can be your best friend. A bottle of scotch at Christmastime can work wonders for your privacy concerns.

  • http://www.worldtravelingartist.com Aledander

    I hope that part of internet idiocy stays in the US, so your Congress may decide whatever they want.

  • Louise

    Aside from being a serious invasion of privacy, do I really want to work for a company that is going to base my work on my FB status as opposed to my abilities to actually do the job? Why not give them my bank account information too, maybe I am handling your money and you need to see how I handle mine first? Where does it stop?

    Nothing like starting a job where the lack of trust is on the table before you even start. I am suppose to trust the person that I am giving my password information to, yet we are told not to give that information out to anyone. Who screens the guy/gal I just gave it to? Who is the judge and jury?

    Social Media is a form of communication and expression, not an extension of my job. I do not define myself by my work. This practice has to be stopped before it gets out of control.

  • Jerrie DeRose

    Employers should not be allowed to receive a person’s Facebook, twitter, or other social network passwords, especially in lieu of the fact that many Facebook users are older teens and young adults and this is a major format for them to connect with persons they attended high school with, do not have an opportunity to socialize personally with, or have went on to colleges out of the area. Facebook users, especially those persons between 16 and 24, often post things like parties they have attended, etc. and a large number of potential employers would exploit that information and use it to discriminate or would not hire a candidate if they posted something the employer did not like.

  • Emmanuel

    Let me be concise…
    There is no way in hell i am giving my facebook account password to my employer. What are they going to want next my personal email account password to monitor my communications???

    ill be lucky if i check post once a month on Facebook. i dont post personal information of any kind, no photos what so ever. I have trust issues what can i say.

    Lets face it. If i wanted to complain to my friends about the place i work at ill do it over the phone, in person, via sms, hell even Skype.

    My Facebook account is just that mine and that is how it is gonna stay.So giving my employer my password that grants full access to my account. NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.

  • http://www.laymanwebdesign.com Obdurate

    This is why I’m self-employed. If you don’t like the rules, don’t work for them.