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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Why have a facebook account?
By wavetrex on 1/2/2013 1:45:15 AM , Rating: 3
What I don't understand from all this nonsense of employers asking for facebook accounts... is why would anyone want or need a facebook account?

Seriously, what is it's purpose? I've been using computers for quite a long time, and been on the internet since the days of 14.4kbps dial-up modems, and had "accounts" on countless online services. For example, I have a Google account because it gives me e-mail and personalized search results.

Yet, I simply can't find ANY use at all for a facebook account. (or any other "social network" account for that matter).

Or maybe it's that today people really have "no life", and they supplant that with having "online friends". How sad. What a bunch of sorry ass loosers we are, humanity.

By Omega215D on 1/2/2013 6:20:35 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly if you don't have a Facebook account you are seen as anti-social and have something to hide. Sometimes the people in charge need a good beating, preferably in public.

RE: Why have a facebook account?
By cyberguyz on 1/2/2013 7:59:30 AM , Rating: 2
Welcome to the 21st century. As the previous respondent pointed out if you do not represent yourself in social media (i.e. facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc) you are considered antisocial and not a desirable employee. Desirable employees are those that are interested in networking with their peers in the various industries.

I think employers asking for passwords to personal media is an invasion of digital privacy. However laws will not stop employers from demanding it and making the careers at their firm for those that do not miserable (there are ways to do that without invoking that law).

Note: I have been in the computing industry since long before IBM trademarked the term "PC" and the Internet existed.

RE: Why have a facebook account?
By vXv on 1/2/2013 8:10:31 AM , Rating: 2
I don't have a facebook, twitter nor linkedin account and I didn't have any problems with that. People sometimes do ask me why I don't have such an account the simple answer like "I don't need it" and/or "due to privacy concerns" have been sufficient so far.

While the real reason has nothing to do with privacy (it just makes people shut up). The point is ... I don't need the service they offer so why would I sign up there?

There a lot of more direct ways to connect to / communicate with the people I do want to interact with.

RE: Why have a facebook account?
By wavetrex on 1/2/2013 9:05:24 AM , Rating: 1
Well the 21st century is really weird then.

What happened to going out to a concert and starting to talk to the people about the performances?
What happened to simply talking to a stranger in a train and discovering that they are a friend of a neighbor you had 10 years ago.
How about actual friends you go out in the city with every Friday (or more often)
Hey, let's be modern and use technology. CALL your friend on the phone and ask how is he/she feeling.

Nowadays everyone sticks their nose in their touch-enabled gadgets, ignoring everything else that happens around them, and clicking "Like" to all the internet crap that they are not really interested in.

Anyone remember the movie Wall-E and the people on the Spaceship riding their hover-chairs ?

Someone said recently: "We live in the age of smart phones and dumb humans"... how true !

Facebook and others like it don't make you more social. They make you totally ANTISOCIAL, unable to meet people and talk properly with them in REAL LIFE.

RE: Why have a facebook account?
By mcnabney on 1/2/2013 9:20:06 AM , Rating: 2
People still do all of those things.

Facebook seems to fill a supplementary role in society. For people that are already close it allows for indirect 'chats' that take up little time. For people that are more distant friends/family it allows people to keep up with the general goings-on in their lives. Because the service pushes the data out, it continues to be a very compelling product.

By euclidean on 1/2/2013 9:30:39 AM , Rating: 2
Not to be rude, but you sound like someone who was 'burnt' by having a Facebook (etc.) account, or you had a hard time getting past 5 friends....

Not everyone is 'addicted' to Social Media. I find it useful to capture my memories and share them with friends/family when appropriate. But that does not stop me from going out, taking trips, talking with strangers, or even - gasp! - calling someone up and talking to them. There's much more to Social Media than just leaving the real-world behind to fall in a 'tough' game of Farmville (or whatever the current FB game is...).

Note: Since we're adding these notes - I don't have a Facebook account either - I use G+. Much more useful being integrated with my Google account.

RE: Why have a facebook account?
By Jeffk464 on 1/2/2013 10:15:50 AM , Rating: 2
Just set up a "I love me" facebook account. Post a few positive things about yourself and don't worry about it.

RE: Why have a facebook account?
By TSS on 1/2/2013 3:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yknow my parents would say the same thing about an MSN account, even when it was popular back in the day?

Facebook is just today's MSN and many people use it that way. Understandle, it has more features and MSN is a piece of crap these days.

My problem is with the giant hype surrounding it and the fact that people buy into the hype rather then facebook. Meaning to say if something else was hyped as much as facebook, those people would follow that thing and start flame wars against the people who still use facebook (myspace, anybody?). Facebook has it's uses but it's certainly not the end all be all of social things. Well, that and of course the company running facebook i've got a problem with. Just too many privacy violations and terms of service changes for my taste.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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