You’ve probably heard all the commotion regarding employers that are requesting Facebook passwords from job candidates so they can take a peek into their personal life. This would allow the hiring director to see what’s been posted, as well as personal photos, games played, articles read, and what is routinely “liked.” Facebook’s counsel is threatening legal action. However, our federal government has decided it’s not worth making a law over. Tuesday night, House Republicans blocked a bill to make it illegal for employers to request social media passwords. What concerns me most about this Facebook password debate is not so much letting a future employer see what I’m saying online. That I don’t care about, because I’m pretty careful for the most part about what I post. I know that Facebook isn’t all that private. But I have friends and colleagues who tend to be a bit outspoken on all sorts of topics. Some of them cross the line from time to time. And while they aren’t the one’s relinquishing their passwords, they are in a sense, having their privacy violated. Giving away my password, allows their profiles to be reviewed as well, probably without their knowledge. And that’s not fair to my Facebook brethren.
Plus, I have to ask, if employers can get away with this, what’s next? They already monitor our credit and our urine. Now they want to look at our Facebook conversations and photos of funny cats? Don’t be surprised if they ask you to hand over your checking account records so they can question a late night ATM withdrawal or debit card purchase. Or maybe they’ll seek permission from your grocer to see what you buy every week with that loyalty card of yours. Baby diapers? Pregnancy tests? Cigarettes? Beer? Where will it end?
It’s up to you if you want to hand over your password to a nosy employer. Remember, however, in doing so you are violating Facebook’s policy, and violating your friends’ privacy as well.