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Employers and Schools Request Private Facebook Tours: Fair or Foul?

News 2012/03/13 13:00:00
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While the legal system is trying to work out the kinks in social media privacy laws, some employers and colleges are trying to use the current system to their advantage by requesting full access to applicants' Facebook profiles. That did mean usernames and passwords until the ACLU put an end to it, but some applicants are still being asked to explore their private profiles under surveillance while interviewing for jobs.

According to MSNBC, the Department of Corrections has been asking its potential hires to log into their Facebook account while an interviewer watches, and go through their wall posts, photos, friends, etc., essentially giving the potential employer a front-row seat to their Facebook lives. In a similar light, some college athletes are being required to "friend" their coaches as a way of monitoring the athletes' personal lives. It's even been written into the University of North Carolina handbook.

D.C. Lawyer Bradley Shear told MSNBC, "I can't believe some people think it's OK to do this. Maybe it's OK if you live in a totalitarian regime, but we still have a Constitution to protect us. It's not a far leap from reading people's Facebook posts to reading their email ... As a society, where are we going to draw the line? ... What if the University of Virginia had been monitoring accounts in the Yeardley Love case and missed signals that something was going to happen? What about the liability the school might have?" Do you think this new Facebook tactic that employers and schools are using is fair or foul?


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  • ronnie..its_his_war 2012/03/14 01:58:45
    Fair
    ronnie..its_his_war
    +3
    i don't get it so I just said fair hah....
  • Garfield Simms 2012/03/14 01:51:11
    Foul
    Garfield Simms
    +5
    its an invasion of privacy
  • Flyingbug 2012/03/14 01:40:20 (edited)
    Foul
    Flyingbug
    +5
    It's just one step from a Facebook page (or other social media page) to reading your email. Unfortunately, the law is quite far behind the technology.
  • ray Flyingbug 2012/03/14 10:07:38
    ray
    The law is a couple of hundred years AHEAD of the technology. The constitution guarantees an individual is secure in their person , possessions and papers.
    ( notice it is YOUR face book account )
    The modern liberalism constantly tries to redefine what terms mean for government intrusion and control of private lives.
  • Queen Katherine 2012/03/14 01:38:46
    Foul
    Queen Katherine
    +4
    Whether it be school or work what I do in my private life is no ones business.
  • Rebel [SHP] 2012/03/14 01:20:24
    Foul
    Rebel [SHP]
    +7
    Employers and Schools have absolutely no business on people's private facebook accounts. Attempt to disrupt my privacy and silence my rights....DENIED.

    denied
  • willy1der56 2012/03/14 01:18:23
    Fair
    willy1der56
    +3
    No Comment other than get the idiot out of the Whitehouse, not in November, but yesterday if at all possible.
  • cellophane willy1d... 2012/03/14 02:48:43
    cellophane
    +2
    You lost me. It's okay for potential employers to read my private Facebook page, peruse through my e-mail and snail-mail, have me drop my drawers so they can see if I'm really the gender I say I am....et al - so long as we get Obama out of the White House? I can't stand Obama, but for all I care, he might as well declare martial law and serve for 30 years as to allow employers to invade my privacy in such a manner.
  • Lily Rosen cellophane 2012/03/14 03:30:15
    Lily Rosen
    +1
    I think they just clicked randomly and didn't give a damn about what was being talked about...
  • Inquisitve Kat 2012/03/14 01:10:18
    Foul
    Inquisitve Kat
    +7
    If someone is considerate (and smart) enough to keep their profile private, it should be respected.
    Work and school should NOT be tied to the rest of our lives.
  • Sew 2012/03/14 01:07:38
    Foul
    Sew
    +4
    Sure I'd agree to this if they let me come read their mail. Seems like a pretty fair exchange.
  • k.l.white1 2012/03/14 00:59:41
    Foul
    k.l.white1
    +7
    FOUL and SHAMEFUL.! were i destitute and starving, i would not take a job at any place that required such nonsense. the ACLU has truly screwed up SOME things, but they've got THIS dead right!
  • KrazyMan 2012/03/14 00:42:33
  • Centuri... KrazyMan 2012/03/14 04:06:44
    Centurion~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    I agree.

    I have a daughter though who has a facebook account which looks like a soap opera. I've tried to tell her that she needs to clean up her facebook account but she doesn't listen to me. She doesn't get hired for any decent job either.
  • RobHom 2012/03/14 00:40:49
    Fair
    RobHom
    +2
    If you are daft and dense enough to post your private life on line... publicly or otherwise, then you have nothing to complain about. You put it there, they see it, or if you are being interviewed and they know you have a private account...and you were too freaking stupid to shut it down before an interview....you're a LOSER, and a DUNCE!!

    Silence is golden, discretion is the better part of valor, and if you don't hang your laundry in public...no-one can comment about your skidmarks!
  • cellophane RobHom 2012/03/14 03:11:03
    cellophane
    But what's next? If forcing you to open your Facebook account for them is deemed acceptable, then they can also begin questioning your personal references about your private life.
  • RobHom cellophane 2012/03/14 03:38:11
    RobHom
    As a former employer, I can tell you this:

    1. If you give "personal references"....they already can inquire about your private life. That is why they are called "personal references".

    2. If they are work references, then their comments are limited to their knowledge relating to you at work...BUT they cannot be your supervisor or employer.

    3. Employer or supervisors are limited by a SCOTUS decision as to what they can say, and that is very limited.

    Employers can do credit and background checks on you as well. Of course they will get your signature on a form before doing it, and the form will tell you that refusing to allow it will prevent your hiring.

    If you have a facebook page, and have it public.....you're a doofus. If you have it private, then all you need to do is think like a grownup and close that account for a day or two. If it does not appear when searched for...then you don't have one. I would think that people in this day and age would be a little brighter about their identity issues and instead of using their first name...use a "nickname" that has no relation to their first name, or just use a bogus identifier...like you do here. Its not rocket science.
  • cellophane RobHom 2012/03/14 03:45:42
    cellophane
    +1
    >>>If you give "personal references"....they already can inquire about your private life. That is why they are called "personal references".<<<

    They can ask personal stuff about their relationship with you - how long they've known you, whether they think you'd be a good employee....but they can't ask if they know how many times you've had sex in the past two months - how many alcoholic beverages you've consumed in that period - whether you ever cheated on your girlfriend. Those are the types of things your friends on Facebook might know and your potential employer might see as they perused your account. That is NOT okay!
  • brittneylalaa 2012/03/14 00:35:08
    Foul
    brittneylalaa
    +5
    Because they see that Facebook is big they want to use it to their advantage. Any job or sports team this invasive isn't worth being a part of.
  • gvc 2012/03/13 23:59:08 (edited)
    Foul
    gvc
    +6
    Are you freaking kidding me? Talk about invasion of privacy.

    No way in this world would I give access to a prospective employer or College, it's none of their business.

    Not that I have anything bad, I'm probably the worlds most boring facebook user, but it's the point.

    Might as well let them rifle through your personal papers.
  • Soms Cougli 2012/03/13 23:44:37
    Foul
    Soms Cougli
    +5
    It's a total loss of privacy. It's a password-protected account for a reason. Any employer, potential or otherwise, and any teacher who asked to pry into my personal life would be refused. I don't even add work colleagues or current teachers to my account, and everything is set to private for that reason.
    But also, I don't have to worry too much, I live in Australia lol.
  • turtledove123 2012/03/13 23:43:01
    Foul
    turtledove123
    +5
    Get out of my business! All they need to know is can I handle their' s!
  • jeepster4 2012/03/13 23:27:59
    Fair
    jeepster4
    +3
    The loss of privacy is what you pay for living in a technically advanced society. Is that good or bad? It makes no difference, it is just a fact.
  • Sunshin... jeepster4 2012/03/14 00:36:04
    SunshineInTheClouds
    No it just makes us look bad and ya
  • Sunshin... jeepster4 2012/03/14 00:37:41
    SunshineInTheClouds
    No it just makes us look bad and ya
  • JAA jeepster4 2012/03/14 17:06:07 (edited)
    JAA
    You are absolutely WRONG, seriously. There are laws that protect our privacy, thank goodness. If you give them access to your Facebook page, they are getting your personal information, because they will be seeing information as YOU are seeing them when you log in.

    You're giving your potential employer license to view personal things about your family & friends, also, which is a privacy issue. It's one thing if you have no privacy settings engaged on your Facebook account, but you're allowing them to go into "private" information, too. Would you want your employer to be privy to stuff you, your family & friends said or did at a "public" party or bar, too? Serious?

    I don't think many citizens actually have thought through this, you included. Also, should you point them to SodaHeads, too, so they can see all the mean & nasty comments you & others may be writing? Many people behave differently at work than they do in their more relaxed personal life. An employer has no business in knowing how you behave in other venues.

    There is stuff that we say or do with others that is none of anyone else's business. It's one thing for employers to know if you're on the FBI's Most Wanted list, have a criminal record, or an alcohol/drug abuser, but quite something different for them to know your ...&
    You are absolutely WRONG, seriously. There are laws that protect our privacy, thank goodness. If you give them access to your Facebook page, they are getting your personal information, because they will be seeing information as YOU are seeing them when you log in.

    You're giving your potential employer license to view personal things about your family & friends, also, which is a privacy issue. It's one thing if you have no privacy settings engaged on your Facebook account, but you're allowing them to go into "private" information, too. Would you want your employer to be privy to stuff you, your family & friends said or did at a "public" party or bar, too? Serious?

    I don't think many citizens actually have thought through this, you included. Also, should you point them to SodaHeads, too, so they can see all the mean & nasty comments you & others may be writing? Many people behave differently at work than they do in their more relaxed personal life. An employer has no business in knowing how you behave in other venues.

    There is stuff that we say or do with others that is none of anyone else's business. It's one thing for employers to know if you're on the FBI's Most Wanted list, have a criminal record, or an alcohol/drug abuser, but quite something different for them to know your opinion about religion or politics, or how many kids you have, the status of your personal love relationships, etc. Biased employers are everywhere, & I don't want someone refusing to hire me because of how many young kids I have at home, my sexual preference, religion, or community affiliations, etc. These are things that employers are not allowed to ask during interviews, so why should they be allowed to access the same information on your FB page? Please tell me that my thoughts here have caused you to think differently.
    (more)
  • jeepster4 JAA 2012/03/14 20:27:18
    jeepster4
    I agree with you in theory, but explain the fact that the CIA has a private backdoor into every program licensed for use in the USA; and thus the entire civilized world.
  • JAA jeepster4 2012/03/14 21:36:29
    JAA
    I can't explain the CIA's activity, nor the FBI's, but we're talking about employers having access, not those who are "supposed" to be protecting citizens. I do know that when my daughter applied for the highest security clearance in the nation, the FBI came to our home & asked us personal questions, did background checks, & went around and interviewed a number of our neighbors. We think that was appropriate for the job she was going into. She's been in that job, now, for almost 6 yrs.
  • bradley43 2012/03/13 23:14:01
    Foul
    bradley43
    +4
    " Hello FaceBook friends and Fam.!!! Its me Brad and I love you all Mwah Mwah and I know you Love me so sing my praises and give me kudos" pssst, my potential boss is watching....
  • Mr Wayne 2012/03/13 23:05:38
    Foul
    Mr Wayne
    +8
    If I'm not doing it on school/employer property/computers; then you don't need it.

    If they demand it, close your account.
  • Amy Rose The Hedgehog 2012/03/13 23:03:14
    Foul
    Amy Rose The Hedgehog
  • Phoenix 2012/03/13 22:58:03
    Foul
    Phoenix
    +8
    Public data is just that, public. You would expect employers to take a peek, but forcing you to log-in so they can see your private data is crossing the line.
  • Linkums 2012/03/13 22:55:51
    Foul
    Linkums
    +8
    I would refuse to work or go anywhere that required this. It's outrageous.
  • captainquiggle 2012/03/13 22:53:12 (edited)
    Foul
    captainquiggle
    +5
    They might as well check my closets, while they're at it.
  • Georgia50 2012/03/13 22:45:44 (edited)
    Fair
    Georgia50
    +2
    I had a long talk about this with my administrative assistant. She and I are in total agreement that our employer is free to peruse our Facebook pages as they wish. However, we draw the line at sending someone to check on us at the top level of the East stairwell at lunch time. That's just rude!

    Just kidding! I have a live feed of the East stairwell's security camera linked to my smart phone!
    boss and secretary in stairwell
  • Linkums Georgia50 2012/03/13 22:57:16
    Linkums
    +4
    Viewing public facebook pages is one thing. This is viewing the things you have hidden by having you log in for them and looking over your shoulder.
  • Georgia50 Linkums 2012/03/13 23:00:38
    Georgia50
    +2
    I know...just being a smartass. I hate Facebook so I have no worries there.
  • gvc Georgia50 2012/03/14 00:02:35
    gvc
    +2
    Why? Lot of action in the East stairwell?
  • Georgia50 gvc 2012/03/14 00:18:29
    Georgia50
    +1
    Just at lunch time!
  • gvc Georgia50 2012/03/14 00:24:15
    gvc
    +2
    Hahahaha

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