Some employers – including government agencies – colleges and K-12 schools have begun asking job seekers and students to provide their Facebook usernames and passwords so they can log on and dig around to see if there are reasons to not hire or accept an applicant, or find evidence to punish students.
What we’re seeing is further encroachment by organizations into private lives and while I’m no lawyer, I see clear grounds for legal action in this pursuit.
More importantly however is invasion of privacy and the very specific circumvention of the civil liberties. It was through hard fought battles in the 20th century that we gained a number of civil rights designed to protect every citizen from discrimination based on gender, religion, race, color, national origin, age, marital or family status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, financial status, and more.
These prejudices remain, and by organizations, companies, government agencies, colleges and k-12 schools demanding access to accounts where this information has been shared, they are availing themselves of the very types of content that civil rights were established to prohibit access to.
The very act of asking for Facebook access is equivalent to asking questions made illegal through civil rights laws.
Learn more about how your rights are eroding through my blogs:
- Civil Rights Get Trampled in Internet Background Checks
- Men More Reckless with Personal Information Online
- New Online Safety Lesson: The Internet and Civil Rights; A Look at Gains and Losses
- Rootkit on YOUR Phone Allows A Company You’ve Never Heard of to Spy on You – Plus how Other Corp. Tech Practices are Stripping your Privacy
See recent news articles about organizations trampling of your rights to privacy and non-discrimination in these articles:
- Lawsuit Raises Debate Over Kids’ Facebook Password Sharing
- Would you share your Facebook password during a job interview?
- Facebook Passwords Of Applicants Demanded By Colleges
While the interest by schools, government agencies and employees is understandable, it is unacceptable. We’ve fought the battles to protect personal information offline, it’s time to demand the same rights online.