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Facebook Is Private Property… Or Is It?

We’ve been hearing horror stories of employers asking for Facebook passwords from potential candidates. Is this really the new standard for job interviews now? I’m feeling a little violated just thinking about it. I mean after all, LinkedIn is my professional network, while Facebook is my social network for friends… where photos of last weekend’s debauchery might be posted.

Facebook is private… except for the few hundred people you decided to share your life with. Or so I thought. Happily, I’m not alone. There are a few people on my side. Including Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, who wrote a proposal called “Mind Your Own Business on Passwords”. Good idea!

The premise is to ban the concept of being forced to hand over your password as a condition of employment. The whole notion of Facebook is to share what you choose with the people you choose to share it with. Good social networking means cleaning up your profile and fortifying your security settings. And being wise about who you accept as a “friend”. If that means ensuring your mom isn’t your Facebook friend, then so be it.

The bad news is that the US House of Representatives voted against a bid to stop this practice among telecommunications companies. Instead of suggesting an amendment, Perlmutter suggested the entire bill be sent back to a committee. Interesting choice. Some believe it’s a delay tactic. And others believe the bill won’t cover the offending organizations.

Perhaps you’re seeing the same red flag I am. How can this snooping be legal? How can individual privacy go by the way side? Who gave corporations the right to play Big Brother? Until some kind of law is passed, it looks like businesses can continue to behave unethically and push job seekers around.

I don’t know about you, but I consider my Facebook account almost as precious as my diary. It’s about my personal thoughts and experiences. If I choose to share it with someone, it needs to me my choice. How about you?

About The Author

Samantha Shah

As a secret nerd, Samantha keeps close tabs on trends, threats, and headlines in IT security to keep you safe from the bad guys. She believes knowledge is power, so Samantha is always on the lookout for new ideas, tips, and best practices to challenge convention and inspire change.

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