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Should Employers Be Allowed to Ask for Your Facebook Login?
The Atlantic ^ | 2/21/2011 | Staff

Posted on 02/21/2011 3:50:37 PM PST by FromLori

The American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the cause of a Maryland man who was forced to cough up his Facebook password during a job interview with the Department of Corrections in that state.

According to an ACLU letter sent to the Maryland Department of Corrections, the organization requires that new applicants and those applying for recertifications give the government "their social media account usernames and personal passwords for use in employee background checks."

The ACLU calls this policy "a frightening and illegal invasion of privacy" and I can't say that I disagree. Keep in mind that this isn't looking at what you've posted to a public Twitter account; the government agency here could look through private Facebook messages, which seems a lot like reading through your mail, paper or digital.

While it's not surprising that some employers might want to snoop in your social media life, it strikes me as a remarkable misapprehension of what Facebook is to think that it should be wholly open for background investigations. Legally, things are probably more complex, but it seems commonsensical that carte blanche access to your communications should be off-limits.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: employer; facebook; privacy
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I am not a Facebook user but this is something people might want to think about, especially if they have teens who might put something on that could affect their future employment.
1 posted on 02/21/2011 3:50:40 PM PST by FromLori
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To: FromLori

Just create a “work” facebook account that is clean and squeeky.


2 posted on 02/21/2011 3:52:50 PM PST by GraceG
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To: FromLori

“the organization requires that new applicants and those applying for recertifications give the government “their social media account usernames and personal passwords for use in employee background checks.” “

This sounds way over the top. I would not even consider such a request.


3 posted on 02/21/2011 3:53:24 PM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: FromLori

Yes, they should be allowed to ask.
And I should be allowed to respond with, “What is this thing that you call facebook?”


4 posted on 02/21/2011 3:54:38 PM PST by Repeal The 17th
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To: FromLori
Seems like if you MUST have a facebook acct, have two: one that you associate with your real name and have innocuous drivel in, and another under a fake name to do your real interaction with friends with.

Best would be to stay away from facebook.

5 posted on 02/21/2011 3:54:51 PM PST by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: FromLori

ACLU gets one right. They should have no more right to do this than go through your house, mail, and banking accounts.

This stuff needs to be illegal bigtime.


6 posted on 02/21/2011 3:57:51 PM PST by Tolsti2
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To: FromLori
The ACLU calls this policy "a frightening and illegal invasion of privacy"
The ACLU finally gets one right.
7 posted on 02/21/2011 3:58:06 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: PapaBear3625

Best would be to stay away from facebook and Twitter and My Space and all the other trash sites.


8 posted on 02/21/2011 3:59:17 PM PST by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: FromLori

If anyone coughs up their password is an idiot.


9 posted on 02/21/2011 3:59:29 PM PST by svcw (God in His own time not ours)
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To: DonaldC

I agree and I don’t even use Facebook lol.

But the reason I posted it is you know teens may put something on and not phrase it properly so it could be taken out of context or if someone has a personal problem say for example with your political belief’s that could be a real problem. I thought parents might want to be forewarned that this could happen.


10 posted on 02/21/2011 4:00:15 PM PST by FromLori (FromLori">)
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To: FromLori

I’ll give them a face book password. It may be painful but it is what it is.


11 posted on 02/21/2011 4:02:27 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: SandRat

I’m not on facebook. FR handles all my online needs.


12 posted on 02/21/2011 4:03:38 PM PST by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: Repeal The 17th

Exactly. Great answer.


13 posted on 02/21/2011 4:06:14 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: eyedigress
“I’ll give them a face book password. It may be painful but it is what it is.”

From the movie: The Hangover:

Doctor: “Ya, I know where that place is, it's on the corner of: Get A Map and Go F-— Yourself...”

A password sorta like that?

14 posted on 02/21/2011 4:08:40 PM PST by Leo Farnsworth (I'm not really Leo Farnsworth.)
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To: FromLori
Department of Corrections.

If you want the job then you put up with the clearance. An awful lot of bangers and hangers-on tell their stories on FB through their list of friends and posted pictures. These are not the people you want working the yard. I say good looking out by the Dept of Corrections.

15 posted on 02/21/2011 4:09:24 PM PST by wtc911 ("How you gonna get down that hill?")
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To: FromLori
I'd not hire anyone who admitted to having a Face Book account to begin with.

16 posted on 02/21/2011 4:10:22 PM PST by I see my hands (You can know the young posters by the desperate optimism in their posts.)
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To: PapaBear3625

That is what my kids’ high school counselors told the kids to do. Have 2 accounts.


17 posted on 02/21/2011 4:11:50 PM PST by luckystarmom
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To: FromLori
**********

"I lOvE mY jOb"
18 posted on 02/21/2011 4:13:37 PM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: FromLori

This is not really a difficult question.

Since there is no such thing as a right to a job, then the employer is free to ask, and the employee/candidate is free to say “no” and look for a different job.


19 posted on 02/21/2011 4:15:29 PM PST by Maceman (Obama -- he's as American as nasi goreng)
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To: FromLori

Geez, Facebook will give anybody your data anyway.


20 posted on 02/21/2011 4:18:07 PM PST by umgud
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To: SandRat
How did Rush put that.....

Twitter, My Space, ButBook.......

21 posted on 02/21/2011 4:18:22 PM PST by LasVegasMac (Have ya hit 'em in the a$$, Never let off the gas 'til ya rolled into Victory Lane?)
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To: oh8eleven; Tolsti2
The ACLU finally gets one right.

Well of course. Being as how this doesn't involve the 2nd Amendment
22 posted on 02/21/2011 4:19:00 PM PST by Svartalfiar
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To: PapaBear3625
I’m not on facebook. FR handles all my online needs.


but what happens when they go after FR...

23 posted on 02/21/2011 4:19:26 PM PST by Nat Turner (I can see NOVEMBER 2012 from my house....)
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To: GraceG
Just create a “work” facebook account that is clean and squeeky.

Precisely.

24 posted on 02/21/2011 4:20:58 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: FromLori

Tell them you will “friend” them and they can look to your heart’s delight. But no one gets your passwords.

They have no need of your passwords.


25 posted on 02/21/2011 4:21:02 PM PST by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: Tolsti2
I strongly disagree with the ACLU. This isn't a case of a private employer, or even any ordinary government agency, asking for this information. This is a Department of Corrections we're talking about here, and in any kind of job like this a close scrutiny of applicants for their freinds, acquanitances and affiliations would be warranted.

Having said that, I'd wonder just how effective this kind of request would be. An applicant can create multiple Facebook pages and selectively show the employer which one paints him/her in the best light, or can (as someone else pointed out) simply tell the employer that they don't have a Facebook account.

26 posted on 02/21/2011 4:21:22 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: GraceG
Just create a “work” facebook account that is clean and squeeky.

I was thinking similar, but I thought of calling it a "throwdown" facebook account.

27 posted on 02/21/2011 4:24:55 PM PST by meyer (We will not sit down and shut up.)
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To: FromLori

Reading what I’ve published is fine. Asking for my password is not.

I walked out of a job interview (I badly needed the job at the time) for this sort of invasive crap. Way back when- I applied as a store manager for a convenience store chain in California (no, not 7-11). The application form was more than 30 pages long, and asked about things like the serial numbers of firearms that I owned. It got worse from there.

I think I still have the thing somewhere, I’ll keep an eye open for it. Anybody that has any appreciation of personal privacy would be appalled by it.


28 posted on 02/21/2011 4:24:59 PM PST by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: GraceG

I have two facebook logons.

One is personal, and one is professional.


29 posted on 02/21/2011 4:25:04 PM PST by mom4melody
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To: Svartalfiar

Ah, they’re not too keen on the 1st Amendment either.


30 posted on 02/21/2011 4:27:31 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: FromLori

If employers can ask to take a sample of your urine, I guess they can *ask* for this, too.

Doesn’t mean you have to give it to them.


31 posted on 02/21/2011 4:31:45 PM PST by nkronos
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To: FromLori

I could care less. Employers can ask for whatever they want.

I, of course, reserve the right to tell them to kiss my ash. After which they can decide whether to hire me, and I can reconsider if I want to work for them.

Of course it does help, to be able to pull that off, to be very good at what you do. Then again, if I were conducting a job interview(and I do)... seeing just how far someone would spread cheek would tell me a lot about them.


32 posted on 02/21/2011 4:34:06 PM PST by Fantomw
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To: FromLori

This is so stoopid. Everyone knows all the real ganstas use My Space.


33 posted on 02/21/2011 4:36:58 PM PST by Raebie
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To: Lancey Howard

Gonna be hard to explain why your face is on another FB page with your name on it.


34 posted on 02/21/2011 4:38:09 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: All
Why would anyone even have a Face book acct? You would have to be dumber than a box of rocks.
35 posted on 02/21/2011 4:42:08 PM PST by troy McClure
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To: SandRat

What about FREEPER postings???? Those live on forever.


36 posted on 02/21/2011 4:49:52 PM PST by pointsal
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To: I see my hands

How about voting for?


37 posted on 02/21/2011 4:52:03 PM PST by nascarnation
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To: Riley
“The application form was more than 30 pages long, and asked about things like the serial numbers of firearms that I owned.”

Good for you. Unless the job was for a LEO or some thing like that its none of their GD business what the S/N of your firearms are or if you even own any.

38 posted on 02/21/2011 4:53:36 PM PST by Polynikes (Haakkaa Paalle)
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To: Raebie

MySpace has pretty much become obsolete.

FB essentially became the standard in the last 12 mos.


39 posted on 02/21/2011 4:54:53 PM PST by nascarnation
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To: SandRat

This is a type of social media site...

Can I have your password?


40 posted on 02/21/2011 4:57:52 PM PST by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: nascarnation

With the exception of mass murders and meth heads, this is true.


41 posted on 02/21/2011 4:59:01 PM PST by Raebie
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To: nascarnation
"How about voting for?"

Good point and question. I am distressed that pols almost have to engage in social networking.

Lots of job candidates, only one (at most) otherwise acceptable candidate for an elected position. I suppose that's how I'd rationalize my inconsistency in not letting a candidate's Face Book account stand in the way of my voting for him or her.


42 posted on 02/21/2011 5:05:26 PM PST by I see my hands (You can know the young posters by the desperate optimism in their posts.)
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To: wtc911
If you want the job then you put up with the clearance.

User name and password? Not a chance. I'll give them access to my account as a friend for a day, for a security check, then that's it.

43 posted on 02/21/2011 5:06:38 PM PST by IYAS9YAS (Rose, there's a Messerschmit in the kitchen. Clean it up, will ya?)
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To: AppyPappy

One can set their Facebook privacy so they don’t show up on searches, for now anyway.


44 posted on 02/21/2011 5:09:28 PM PST by RoseyT
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To: I see my hands
I'd not hire anyone who admitted to having a Face Book account to begin with.

Congradulations, you've just disqualified Sarah Palin.

45 posted on 02/21/2011 5:12:18 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord ((I have come here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta bubblegum! ~Roddy Piper))
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To: PapaBear3625

“FR handles all my online needs.”

OK, so you get a new job that starts contingent on security and background tests.

When they ask if you have accounts on Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Xanga, Orcut, Tumblr, Flikr, or any news discussion boards, do you lie and risk your job down the road, or tell the truth and change your pw when you get back to your android?


46 posted on 02/21/2011 5:17:20 PM PST by DBrow
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To: I see my hands

Based on what I see from my adult offspring and their associates, social networking is how things are done these days.
Any candidate expecting to be successful without it is writing off a significant portion of the electorate.


47 posted on 02/21/2011 5:21:01 PM PST by nascarnation
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To: GraceG

“Just create a “work” facebook account that is clean and squeeky.”

Exactly. That’s why my kids all do. You create an account with your real name, load it up with some innocent stuff, and then create a second account, ideally with a fake name (that’s what I had them do), which they can give out to their friends. Employers won’t have a prayer at tracking down my kids real Facebook page unless they can figure out who his friends are.


48 posted on 02/21/2011 5:22:53 PM PST by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts)
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To: Maceman

“Since there is no such thing as a right to a job, then the employer is free to ask, and the employee/candidate is free to say “no” and look for a different job.”

You do have a point. And a person saying no still may get the job, if the rest of his story is good.

My only problem is losing control of the account. Once someone has the password, they can start messing with the account.


49 posted on 02/21/2011 5:25:40 PM PST by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts)
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To: AppyPappy

So don’ tput a profile pic up. Or put up someone else’s.


50 posted on 02/21/2011 5:27:02 PM PST by DBrow
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