Print 29 comment(s) - last by maugrimtr.. on Jan 3 at 9:15 AM

The law took effect at 12:01 a.m. today

If you were worried about an employer seeing those pictures from the big New Year's party on your Facebook last night, don't fret -- a new law that's taking place this year will prevent employers from requesting Facebook passwords.

The law took effect at 12:01 a.m. today in both California and Illinois. It states that employers can't request social networking passwords or non-public account information from current or potential employees.

Michigan is another state that passed a similar law last month.

However, something that citizens in these states need to keep in mind is that employers can still see any public posts, tweets or photos on the social networks. So unless you set your information to private, it's fair game.

Back in 2011, employees and applicants to the Maryland Department of Corrections were asked to surrender their emails and passwords in order for employers to access their Facebook pages. This resulted in a complaint from corrections officer Robert Collins, who went to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU argued that this was an invasion of privacy. The Department of Corrections has since stopped this practice, but found a loophole -- they just ask the applicant to log onto their Facebook accounts right in front of them, giving employers the freedom to browse photos, comments and Walls right in front of the applicant.

The Maryland Department of Corrections isn't the only establishment searching social networks for clues as to who they're accepting. The University of North Carolina recently revised its handbook to make it so student-athletes must add a coach or administrator to their friends list on their social networks.

In March 2012, some government job seekers and student-athletes complained that the government agency or college in which they were applying to had asked for access to their Facebook pages among other social networking sites.

Source: Reuters

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Common Sense
By rs2 on 1/1/2013 8:13:28 PM , Rating: 5
It's sad that a law is needed for something as obvious as "employers have no business demanding employees hand over login credentials for their personal social media accounts".

Here's a thought; regardless of what your local laws happen to be, if your employer demands that you hand over your personal Facebook/Twitter/Gmail/etc. login details just do us all a favor and tell the whoresons to go plough themselves.

RE: Common Sense
By roykahn on 1/1/2013 8:36:49 PM , Rating: 5
Easier said than done. The current employment situation in America is pretty poor for many people. Desperate job seekers don't have much power. Furthermore, workers' rights have been eroding for decades and it's still happening (pretty much globally). The ruling class continues its grab for more power and profits at the expense of the working class. Any efforts to restore some balance just gets bashed with the usual media mantra of "it will cost us jobs".

I'd be interested in the list of cases the ACLU has won and lost recently. It would make a good indicator of the civil rights environment in America.

RE: Common Sense
By rs2 on 1/1/2013 11:04:52 PM , Rating: 3
Desperate job seekers don't have much power.

Actually they have all the power, if only the majority of them could be persuaded to consistently and reliably stand up for their basic rights no matter how desperate they happen to feel.

If we all just collectively lie down and take this nonsense out of "desperation" then it's still entirely our own fault when our rights and respect gets gradually stripped away.

RE: Common Sense
By croc on 1/1/2013 11:56:11 PM , Rating: 5
Hmmm... Sounds like you are advocating for something like collective bargaining... Must be a commie. Off you go, now... Can't have any union sympathizers around here.

RE: Common Sense
By rs2 on 1/2/2013 1:47:56 AM , Rating: 3
But I brought enough wooden footstools and borscht for everyone!

RE: Common Sense
By Paj on 1/2/13, Rating: 0
RE: Common Sense
By tng on 1/2/2013 10:54:13 AM , Rating: 3
Sh!t like this is why unions are needed.
I would say it is why lawyers are needed, and places like the ACLU.

You are correct many unions have gotten to big and forgotten what they started out for. Some unions exist now as a way for the leaders to make money and wield influence and power at the expense of the worker.

RE: Common Sense
By maugrimtr on 1/2/2013 10:37:46 AM , Rating: 5
Easy. Facebook? No, I don't have a Facebook account. Well, there is that one I setup and never used...

What are they going to do - can you for not having a social network persona?

RE: Common Sense
By tng on 1/2/2013 10:57:32 AM , Rating: 3
What are they going to do - can you for not having a social network persona?
Some probably would think of you as a social outcast depending on how old they are and hence, that will make them less likely to hire you. Sad really.

There are posters here who will degrade you for making any negative comment about Facebook...

RE: Common Sense
By maugrimtr on 1/3/2013 9:15:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'd rather have them think me a social outcast than give them access to my private life, my friends, the private utterances of colleagues at other companies (or THAT company), my family, my beliefs and sexual orientation, my thoughts on how many Democrats it takes to replace an incandescent light bulb with a solar powered LED lamp...:P

You'd have to blackmail me. Unfortunately, in this economy, that's effectively what companies are doing. Loathsome intrusion.

RE: Common Sense
By Ammohunt on 1/2/2013 1:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
Working Class? Ruling Class? bah its the Non-Working Occupy <wherever> class that is the problem. Besides, the idea of Classes (being very 18th century) are not at all applicable with such specificity to modern free market societies outside of College campuses infested with the cliché Marxist professor or as a tool by asshat politicians bent on bifurcating an otherwise united populous.

You have a right to privacy an employer can't ask for the keys to your house as terms of employment can they? hence legislation to bring labor law; which consequently completely eliminates the need for labor Unions in line with modern times.

RE: Common Sense
By kmmatney on 1/2/2013 10:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why they need passwords. I can see why they might want to look up your public details, but I don't see any need beyond that.

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