In this day and age social networking is an activity that many people across the world use daily and even multiple times a day. We spend time posting on others walls, writing messages, posting pictures and reconnecting to long lost friends and relatives. Many people as well as myself have their pages blocked in order to protect their privacy because we view our pages as our own personal and private space. You can even go as far as to not be searchable and not allowing anyone to send you follow or friend requests.
Facebook and Twitter have cause a lot of problems from students being denied into colleges, to not being able to find a job, and even getting fired from a job. Recently even more problems have emerged involving these social network sites. Some employers are going as far as to asking for your Facebook password upon hire. New York senators are planning to ask the Department of Justice to investigate whether employers accessing Facebook accounts are violating federal law. More specifically the senators want to know if the practice of these employers violates the Stored Communications Act of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The former prohibits intentional access to electronic information without authorization and the latter bars intentional access to computers with out authorizations to obtain information. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/us-senators-investigate-employers-asking-for-facebook-passwords/10834. In a statement Senator Schumer said that “Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries, why should they be able to ask for their Facebook passwords and gain unwarranted access to a trove of private information about what we like, what messages we send to people, or who we are friends with?” In an age where more and more of our personal information and our private social lives are online, it is vital that all individuals be allowed to determine for themselves what personal information they want to make public and protect personal information from their would-be employers. This is especially important during the job-seeking process, when all the power is on one side of the fence. For employers to be able to gain access to such private information is a complete violation of privacy. I wonder why would they even need it in the first place? I really don’t think that it is any business of any employers to see what a person has to say or what they do on the Internet. Obviously if they were involved in criminal or suspicious activity there are special circumstances but a normal human being just trying to get a job should not be subjected to such an invasion. There is a certain line that I don’t think should be crossed when it comes to privacy and this is definitely crossing the line. Facebook is even taking strides to create new laws that make it illegal for anyone other than the user to access their account. So what would you do if you were asked to supply your employer with your Facebook password? Are you allowed to say no? A lot of people would say that they have nothing to hide and would just hand it over, but it’s more than that in my eyes. The employer has all the power here and can look at what ever they want at any given time and that in my eyes is unacceptable.