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Employers Seek Full Access To Potential Employee’s Social Media

by Team Caffeine · 1 comment

lori r taylor, revmediamarketing, social media, social media marketing, branding, product branding, networking, oneclicksociety, social caffeine, mobile marketing

Where Do You Draw The Line?

If you have been out of work for more than a few months and you are hungry for gainful employment, chances are you are going to be willing to do just about anything to score a new job. But would you be willing to grant your prospective employer full and unfettered access to your Facebook account? That means handing over all your log-in information and letting them go where they want; into your email, your photos or whatever you might have marked as “private” on your account.

How bad do you want the job?

This may seem a little like Big Brother, but as the labor market improves many employers are taking this radical step when it comes to choosing the cream of the crop. It also doesn’t help that many companies are still run by people who don’t understand the Internet, much less social media, so they believe the best way to know what skeletons you might have hidden in your closet is to take your house keys and go search your closet. Never mind your privacy rights.

Fortunately legislators have begun to sit up and taken notice. Legislators in Illinois and Maryland are already hard at work drafting laws which would make the practice illegal, but not everyone is so quick to judge. Employers, for one, believe they have the right to know everything about their prospective employee before committing to hiring, training and paying them. The best way for them to do that, they claim, is to gain full and unfettered access to their lives, both online and off.

It is one thing to expect your employees to conduct themselves properly when they are employed by you, and it is ok to expect they have been conducting themselves well prior to being employed by you, but to expect them to surrender the keys to their house so you can have a look around is preposterous.

Fortunately, I am not the only person who thinks so:

“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.”
Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.
Since the rise of social networking, it has become common for managers to review publically available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates. But many users, especially on Facebook, have their profiles set to private, making them available only to selected people or certain networks.

Click here to read more about this issue.

Team Caffeine

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Julie Pruitt April 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I completely agree with you. I’m surprised enough people were actually considering asking or allowing entry into private accounts for this to become an issue.

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