Employers want your Facebook Password

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Employers want your Facebook Password

Katie Stromme

Would you want your boss to see your Facebook?

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Over the past few weeks, national attention has shed light on the issue of employers asking job applicants for their Facebook and Twitter passwords in order for companies to make sure their social media identities were appropriate. All of which is completely unnecessary.
Many individuals are against this issue, claiming that it is a breach of privacy. Others argue that if it’s on Facebook, how private can it be? Even though both arguments make valid points, the latter isn’t as strong, because information put on Twitter and Facebook isn’t necessarily visible to everyone. Many utilize their privacy settings in order to ensure that only certain people can see certain things.
I fail to understand why giving potential employers your Facebook password is necessary. There are already numerous ways of investigating individuals such as traditional background checks, drug tests, and credit checks, all of which provide more than enough information regarding how well someone qualifies for a job.
For the most part, the information people put on Facebook or Twitter should be redundant as far as employers are concerned. Applicants’ personal lives and actions have absolutely nothing to do with their work experience and performance therefore it should be of zero concern to potential employers.
Applicants have the right to refuse employers access to their social media information but, that would probably result in the assumption that they have something to hide. Whether they do or not is irrelevant because either way their privacy is in fact violated. It’s basically a lose-lose situation.
Regardless of the information that people put on Facebook, they should not be asked to allow individuals they barely know access to their personal accounts. Those are their private accounts that are meant to remain confidential and under their complete control.
Maryland recently passed a bill that prohibits employers from asking for access to password protected digital content. Hopefully other states take notes and do the same. I, for one, would utilize my right of refusal when asked to provide my Facebook password, but the question should not be asked in the first place.

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