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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:35 PM

US senator: Employers shouldn’t ask job applicants for Facebook, social media passwords

Source: AP-Washington Post

A Democratic senator from Connecticut is writing a bill that would stop the practice of some employers to ask job applicants for their Facebook or other social media passwords, he told The Associated Press on Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said that such a practice is an “unreasonable invasion of privacy for people seeking work.”

“These practices seem to be spreading, which is why federal law ought to address them. They go beyond the borders of individual states and call for a national solution,” Blumenthal said.

The AP reported this week that some private and public agencies around the country are asking job seekers for their social media credentials. The practice has alarmed privacy advocates, but the legality of it remains murky.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/us-senator-employers-shouldnt-ask-job-applicants-for-facebook-social-media-passwords/2012/03/22/gIQAdjQGUS_story.html



This is something about which everyone should be able to agree. They might as well ask for your email password or your diary.

28 replies, 4064 views

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Reply US senator: Employers shouldn’t ask job applicants for Facebook, social media passwords (Original post)
Julian Englis Mar 2012 OP
Bonhomme Richard Mar 2012 #1
baldguy Mar 2012 #2
ingac70 Mar 2012 #3
arcane1 Mar 2012 #6
LittleGirl Mar 2012 #4
JoeyT Mar 2012 #16
LittleGirl Mar 2012 #26
Swede Atlanta Mar 2012 #5
XemaSab Mar 2012 #21
dmr Mar 2012 #7
LibDemAlways Mar 2012 #8
20score Mar 2012 #9
IndyJones Mar 2012 #12
Julian Englis Mar 2012 #13
2ndAmForComputers Mar 2012 #20
Devil_Fish Mar 2012 #10
IndyJones Mar 2012 #11
CreekDog Mar 2012 #14
DRoseDARs Mar 2012 #15
AndyTiedye Mar 2012 #18
Old Union Guy Mar 2012 #17
kemah Mar 2012 #19
sofa king Mar 2012 #22
fujiyama Mar 2012 #23
KeepItReal Mar 2012 #24
SwissTony Mar 2012 #25
Myrina Mar 2012 #27
BadgerKid Mar 2012 #28

Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:38 PM

1. I can just hear it now "If you don't have anything to hide yada yada. n/t

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:42 PM

2. You're right: there's no reason why this should even be an issue.

Just as the fact that contraception & abortion should be treated as personal medical issues, and not political ones.

Just as in a representative republic like ours, we should be encouraging more people to vote rather than disenfranchising citizens.

Just as people should be judged by the content of their character & not by the color of their skin.

These are things which everyone should be able to agree on. In 21st century America people emphatically don't, and we are all harmed by it.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:48 PM

3. Add drug testing to that and we have a winner! n/t

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:00 PM

6. You beat me to it!

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:53 PM

4. In 1998 I had a Manager ask me for my Admin password

I refused. I was a network administrator. I said, we use admin ID's (in addition to our company ID) and there is no reason for you to need my 'personal' ID or password. I was fired about a month later. After that, I never used anything personal at work and would advise all others the same. It's a company network and you have no privacy rights on it.

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Response to LittleGirl (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:16 PM

16. This isn't about people logging in at work.

They're demanding facebook passwords from people that may not even have access to computers at work so they can find out stuff that isn't listed publicly by reading messages and the like.

This is closer to a company insisting they have the right to dig around in your house before they hire you.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:32 AM

26. true!

Yes, and that's why it's really weird that they would ask that BEFORE they hire you. If they can't trust you before hiring you, then would they trust you afterward?

I really think it's geared toward the younger generation - those in their 20s that have had facebook accounts since their teens. I know many my age, 50-something have facebook, but mostly to be able to see their kids and grandkids photos that are posted. I know my Mother has one for that reason alone and she's going to be 80.

anyway, thanks.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:59 PM

5. Amen....

 

Unless the job you are seeking involves very sensitive matters your personal associations should remain just that, personal. I can understand why an employer might want to know if you are a member of a Facebook group of vigilantes but that is the tradeoff in our society - some things are personal and private.

If you were applying for a job at say the CIA or something like that I could understand the interest in such matters. Candidates for those jobs know going in they will have every orifice and every detail of their lives scrutinized.

But to say get a job as a Quality Assurance Analyst at a software company this level of scrutiny is beyond the pale.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:23 PM

21. It's like an employer asking you for your phone records

It's personal and private.

Hell, if you applied to work at the CIA and all your friends were highly placed Chinese nationals, that might be a plus.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:04 PM

7. I see it akin to opening my postal mail. That's against the law. Leave me alone.

Employers have no business reading private messages between me & grandma, or between other relatives & friends.

People discuss private things, like someone's high blood pressure, drug addiction, troubling love life, a rough pregnancy. Do employers need to read about your cousin's STD or your niece's sixth birthday party? No!

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:14 PM

8. Seems to me asking for a FB password is also an invitation to invade the

privacy of one's FB friends who may post info not intended for prying 3rd party eyes.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:53 PM

9. No reasonable person can be against this proposed law.

Because there is no reasonable excuse for the practice.


No self-important, voyeuristic, fascist prick can ask about sex, religion or one's politics in an interview. How is it even legal now for them to get the information, plus much more by different means?

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Response to 20score (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:01 PM

12. Excellent point - because a lot of those issues are probably on a person's facebook pages and

so for those reasons alone, the practice of someone having access to that information is just wrong.

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Response to 20score (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:20 PM

13. They might as well ask you for the password to your email.

Many people use Facebook in place of email.

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Response to Julian Englis (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:01 PM

20. Don't give them ideas.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:58 PM

10. What if you don't have a face book account???

 

I don't for just this type of reason.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:00 PM

11. So glad to see this. It seems like such an invasion of privacy.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:28 PM

14. It's possibly a way to ask for info prohibited by discrimation laws

Race, Family status, Religion, Age.

They ask for the info and you give it to them and then they don't hire you --it could be for one of those reasons.

Maybe actionable.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:06 PM

15. Employers asking for direct, privileged access are asking you to violate the Terms of Service.

This shouldn't be of "murky" legality at all and last I checked, coercion was still very much illegal.

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Response to DRoseDARs (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:23 PM

18. A Very Good Point

If you want your employees to obey your rules, your terms of employment, you should not demand that they
violate an agreement they made with some other party.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:19 PM

17. Doesn't giving out your Facebook password violate the terms of service? n/t

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:57 PM

19. Have several Facebook accounts, like email accounts.

Can you not have several FB accounts, like email, one for business, one for social, and one for your deviations. I do.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:38 PM

22. As a prospective employee...

I shall require the Facebook passwords of all of my potential supervisors, so that I can better evaluate whether they are the sorts of people I want to work with.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:10 PM

23. If they can ask for facebook logins and passwords

they may as well ask for email passwords.

Much of my personal correspondence (friends/family) is done via facebook messaging now. Friends set up threads all the time. It's a lot easier than having to create lists in my email accounts. We also use it to set up events. And FB's mobile app can now basically be used as a messaging service - I can use it to speak to my family in different parts of the world in real time. I can't use SMS texting with people I know overseas...and some don't have texting as part of their service.

Can someone tell me how any of that is my employer's or future employer's Goddamn business? It's not. Anyone is free to see my public profile. Feel free to google my name and you get what you see. I only friend those I know - and I'm not even comfortable having older, more judgmental relatives as my FB friends.

It's gone far enough. If someone asked me for my password, I would tell them I'm not divulging that information or that I forgot my password or that I don't use it much. I don't share my passwords. Period.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:27 PM

24. spot on

Eom

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 07:29 AM

25. This isn't just an invasion of privacy with regards to the potential employee

but also to his/her family and friends. Someone could very well send the employee a deeply personal and private message, which would then be seen by the employer.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:41 AM

27. "shouldn't" ? How about CAN'T

Sure, Mr. Senator or Mr. CEO - can I have your passwords too?

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 07:53 AM

28. How would companies like their proprietary info "leaked"?

I mean, if I would be willing to reveal MY private info, could I be trusted not to share theirs?

We need to turn this crap back on these SOBs. Sorry for language. Tired of them dictating our lives....

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