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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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.

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.

By Scannall on 1/1/2013 9:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of these new laws, if you're looking for work it'd be a really good idea for you to keep a very well groomed and scoured Facebook.

Use it to present whatever you want prospective employers to see, and not for pictures of you passed out at a party.

RE: Regardless
By schmandel on 1/1/2013 11:00:53 PM , Rating: 1
Facebook accounts are for losers. Just say no.

If I were still in the placement business a candidate having no social media baggage or fixations could definitely set themselves above the rest.

RE: Regardless
By Dr of crap on 1/2/2013 10:35:38 AM , Rating: 2
Think back to the year 2000 -
No facebook
No social media
An employer asks you to bring in photos you took over the last few months for them to look over. Or to have you record the next few months of phone calls and then let them hear what you had to say in the calls.

See any difference there?

Nope they are the same thing as asking for your Facebook sign info. They have no reason to ask for it! And you should not have to give it.

RE: Regardless
By dark matter on 1/2/2013 5:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it would be a better idea in your interview to keep a well groomed LinkedIn account.

That way you can easily skirt around your utterly debauched Facebook account by claiming "I don't have a facebook account, I find it unprofessional and a bit of a time sink. Which is why I use LinkedIn."

Accessing personal acounts
By Fujikoma on 1/2/2013 10:25:42 AM , Rating: 3
I don't see how this isn't illegal in the states, since it's already illegal to ask about religious and political affiliations for a (non-governmental) job anyway. Facebook has all sorts of stuff that an employer couldn't legally ask a job candidate, so it seems odd that no one has fought it on that level.

By ksherman on 1/2/2013 11:16:20 AM , Rating: 1
Nice of them to pass this silly law than to spend time dealing with the ridiculous pension situation in Illinois. The politics in my state are driving me crazy!

No tech is bad tech, right?
By schmandel on 1/2/2013 11:58:06 AM , Rating: 1
Someone inflicts a world-class Bad Idea on so many levels like Facebook on us and we must immediately accept it as a given and accommodate its properties. Why is this?

The appropriate course of action to take with regard to intrinsically dishonest and pernicious entities such as Facebook is to bury them in an unmarked grave. Harass their operators, destroy their assets, take no prisoners.

...but they can still fire you!
By Beenthere on 1/2/13, Rating: -1
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki