Big controversy over employers asking for full access to prospective and current employee facebook accounts. As I understand this was recently voted down in the House as reported on March 28th (due to a few holes in the proposal as well as other arguments), but there is still legislation that can be made within states wether or not to allow such information to be available to employers (click here for more info). It’s not a wide spread practice, but one can’t help but be unnerved. We’re not obligated to give our e-mail and zipcode to stores for marketing reasons. So why should we give our employers our private and personal information? They have our Social Security numbers for heaven’s sake! As if that isn’t unnerving enough.
I understand the desire to check personal information and make sure you’re hiring a quality employee, but what does a Facebook page have to do with it? Sure there are privacy setting people put up, but usually those are specifically to prevent undesirables from contacting you and knowing where you live. What could you possibly be keeping from an employer that they couldn’t see my looking at your facebook profile? Personal and professional lives are meant to be separate aren’t they? Have we lost the art of switching hats? Are we that desperate that we need to have constant access to our workplaces?
I usually try to remain objective in my posts, but things like this friggin’ irritate me. We should have some kind of protection under the law that allows us to ask the same of our employers if we’re not able to have protection to keep it to ourselves. If I were ever asked to do such a thing, I’d ask them for their passwords so I could figure out if they’re the kind of person I’d want to work for. I as an employee have to protect myself too right? And how do I know my boss is a trustworthy person? How can I look for red flags if I don’t come into contact with them often (an issue with large companies)? I feel if employers want to ask high standards of their employees they should also be held to the same standard to their employees. A “Golden Rule of Private Information” if you will. I’d bet if something like that were to happen, very few employers would ever ask for Facebook passwords ever again, much less have anything good on there to begin with.
As usual I highly recommend to you read the provided links in this post completely so you can fully understand the extent of these potential laws.