Bill would make Facebook snooping, digital spying by employers illegal

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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#1
Bill would make Facebook snooping, digital spying by employers illegal

By Bob Sullivan
Legislation that would give workers broad protection from the prying eyes of employers was introduced in both houses of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday. Both bills would make it illegal for employers to force workers or candidates to divulge social media passwords, similar to legislation nicknamed SNOPA, which was introduced last month. But the new Password Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.. goes even further, extending such limitations to smart phones, private email accounts, photo sharing sites and any personal information that resides on computers owned by the workers.
But Blumenthal's proposal -- and its companion in the House, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo. -- is narrower in some ways than the Social Networking Online Protection Act(SNOPA) introduced April 27 by Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N. Y. SNOPA extended similar protections to elementary, high school and college students. Under the Password Protection Act, students would not be protected.
Still, Blumenthal's legislation is "a good start," said Chris Calabrese, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We feel like it's a very flexible standard. It extends to your iPhone, to information you have on Google and anything else that may come up in the future that we haven't thought of yet. “ Still, Calabrese said his organization will work to include students before any proposal reaches a vote in Congress.



"Students are clearly the target of a lot of social media monitoring," he said. "We think students should have the same rights as everyone else. We'd like to see the best of both of these pieces of legislation combined."
Blumenthal, who has been publicly critical of firms that have requested employee Facebook passwords, said legislation is needed to protect workers.
“Employers seeking access to passwords or confidential information on social networks, email accounts or other protected Internet services is an unreasonable and intolerable invasion of privacy,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “With few exceptions, employers do not have the need or the right to demand access to applicants’ private, password-protected information. This legislation, which I am proud to introduce, ensures that employees and job seekers are free from these invasive and intrusive practices.”
Bradley Shear, a Maryland lawyer and activist who has helped draw attention to the issue, said he "applauded" the efforts of legislators who introduced the Password Protection Act, but was also concerned that students not be left behind as the legislation works its way through committee.
"Hopefully all the different interested parties will come together to find a solution that covers everyone," he said. "This is something that won't go away unless it's handled now."
The Facebook password issue has been bubbling up for years — in 2009, a Maryland state employee complained that he was required to provide his Facebook password during a job interview. But the subject has gained much more attention in recent weeks, after several news reports, including an msnbc.com investigation.
http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/...ping-digital-spying-by-employers-illegal?lite
 

Hate & Discontent

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Aug 22, 2005
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#2
Bet it still won't apply to military personnel, contractors, etc.
 

Motor Head

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Jan 23, 2006
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#3
If you're stupid enough to put a bunch of bad shit on your Facebook page you deserve not to be hired. FB is a meaningless time waster. I don't want to see pictures of your stupid kids, or your dinner, or your birthday cake....fuck you. I don't want to read your babbling about jeezoos. Had a bad day? fuck you, so did I - but I didn't drop my bad day on everybody I know. Your third cousin has cancer and needs prayers....fuck you. Your status about how stupid people are in your life.....fuck you, your one of the stupid people in mine.

All time favorite FB status - We are going out of town next week for a month, YEEEEEHHHHH!!

Then a month goes by and their new status update - We were robbed while we were out of town!!
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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#5
As has been said before, looking at a potential employee's social network profile is not spying. The information is all public. You have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
 

ruckstande

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Apr 2, 2005
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#6
As has been said before, looking at a potential employee's social network profile is not spying. The information is all public. You have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
Nothing is wrong with anyone looking at a public profile. The problem is discriminating against someone because they should not grant you access to your profile and password.
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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#7
Nothing is wrong with anyone looking at a public profile. The problem is discriminating against someone because they should not grant you access to your profile and password.
There's nothing wrong with refusing access to your profile and (especially) password, but there's also nothing wrong with refusing to hire someone who won't let you see their profile. It's an issue where businesses and workers are just going to have to accept their disagreement.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
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Feb 20, 2006
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#8
There's nothing wrong with refusing access to your profile and (especially) password, but there's also nothing wrong with refusing to hire someone who won't let you see their profile. It's an issue where businesses and workers are just going to have to accept their disagreement.
While I agree with the first part of your post the second part is a slippery slope. Whats next, refusing to hire someone because the employer isnt privy to someones diary or the conversations they have with their friends outside of work? Its none of the employers business what someone does with their free time or outside relationships.
 

Your_Moms_Box

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Dec 20, 2004
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#9
If you're stupid enough to put a bunch of bad shit on your Facebook page you deserve not to be hired. FB is a meaningless time waster. I don't want to see pictures of your stupid kids, or your dinner, or your birthday cake....fuck you. I don't want to read your babbling about jeezoos. Had a bad day? fuck you, so did I - but I didn't drop my bad day on everybody I know. Your third cousin has cancer and needs prayers....fuck you. Your status about how stupid people are in your life.....fuck you, your one of the stupid people in mine.

All time favorite FB status - We are going out of town next week for a month, YEEEEEHHHHH!!

Then a month goes by and their new status update - We were robbed while we were out of town!!
Show us on the doll where the facebook touched you....

oh, and that third "your" should be "you're"
 

Lord Zero

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#10
While I agree with the first part of your post the second part is a slippery slope. Whats next, refusing to hire someone because the employer isnt privy to someones diary or the conversations they have with their friends outside of work?
If the diary is posted publicly and details how lazy or antisocial it's author is, then it's perfectly okay to deny someone a job because of it.

Its none of the employers business what someone does with their free time or outside relationships.
What if the conversation involves detailing how bad one is at one's job?
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#11
While I agree with the first part of your post the second part is a slippery slope. Whats next, refusing to hire someone because the employer isnt privy to someones diary or the conversations they have with their friends outside of work? Its none of the employers business what someone does with their free time or outside relationships.
No, it's not, you're right. But that's not the issue. The issue is, how do we settle this disagreement, if an employer thinks that it is his business?

There are two options:
1. Agree to disagree, and have the two parties go their separate way.
2. Use guns to force one of the parties to accept your belief.

Which one do you think makes more sense?
 

fletcher

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#12
If the diary is posted publicly and details how lazy or antisocial it's author is, then it's perfectly okay to deny someone a job because of it.
So what about things like livejournal? Twitter? They are posted publicly but you can also restrict who sees what you post. If I get to an interview and they ask for my online information or access to be able to read it I would thank them for their time and leave.

What if the conversation involves detailing how bad one is at one's job?
So you never griped about a shitty job and stupid coworkers with a friend or family member? If you are openly bashing a company or coworker by name that is one thing but facebook crosses a line.
 

Motor Head

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Jan 23, 2006
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#13
Show us on the doll where the facebook touched you....

oh, and that third "your" should be "you're"
Yeah yeah yeah, two out of three ain't bad. Maybe I'm too old to get it. Maybe when FB was established it was truly for college kids to keep up on parties and relationship statuses. But now, when I look at my wife's page it's just a bunch of people prattling on about shit that nobody cares about. People fishing for attention or wanting to affirm how good they are in with the jeeezoos.
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
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#14
Yeah yeah yeah, two out of three ain't bad. Maybe I'm too old to get it. Maybe when FB was established it was truly for college kids to keep up on parties and relationship statuses. But now, when I look at my wife's page it's just a bunch of people prattling on about shit that nobody cares about. People fishing for attention or wanting to affirm how good they are in with the jeeezoos.
Lol,

I have a former coworker that I am "friends" with on there...

About a month ago she started dating some new guy (she's fat and white, with a half black baby whhose father is a deadbeat that doesn't pay any child support or anything.. becasue.. well.. you know why...)

So she get's a new boyfriend... I mean... a new "MY MAN"

For the next 3 weeks, EVERY FUCKING post is "blah blah blah MY MAN"

ex. Missing my main squeeze because he's always working...at least hes making money and handling his own...#missmyman

Happy 1 month to the best man ever in my life...We are the perfect match hands down....enjoy ur day off get rest and ill see ya later!!! Xoxoxo — with REDACTED

Just watched the Vow with my man.....ughh cried my eyes out...loving alone time with my love....can't wait to spend the day with him tomorrow!!!!

All weekend alone.....no man, no child....hate weekends like this.....

So I have no child....my man works all the time soo that leaves me alone....eating p.b.and j and Oodles and noodles.....already had my shower and in my p.js o what a Saturday night....alone time is key.....:)

Had a great day with my love .. he surprised me this morning when I thought he had to work....took me to breakfeast....and made sure we got my mulch for the yard....ughh love life...about to grill and get my princess!!!




and thennnnn

Things just aren't as they seem....I guess only time will tell....until then keeping my head held high and pressing on:)


Ugh... those are only a few of the annoying posts....

If you have to CONSTANTLY post about "YOUR MAN" then something isn't right.... fucking children.
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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#15
So what about things like livejournal? Twitter? They are posted publicly but you can also restrict who sees what you post.
Then it's a different situation. You're no longer dealing with public information.

If I get to an interview and they ask for my online information or access to be able to read it I would thank them for their time and leave.
As is your right. That's what I would probably do.

So you never griped about a shitty job and stupid coworkers with a friend or family member? If you are openly bashing a company or coworker by name that is one thing but facebook crosses a line.
One's feelings about their job effects their job performance. So do things like how much you party during the week. If a company has a policy of disallowing pot use, a potential employee who smokes pot won't be very forthcoming about their pot intake. Since most people are idiots and idiots that smoke pot tend to be open online about it, a quick check of the pot-smoking potential employee's Facebook page is 100% in order.

Personally, I don't completely agree with this practice; my argument is that the practice is legal and the information most companies look for is relevant.
 

whiskeyguy

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#16
Your employer has the right to monitor everything that you willingly make available to them, including:

1) Public posts on social networks.
2) Semi-private posts on a network you willingly allowed them access to.
3) Anything done using their equipment (sent over their phone, computer, network, etc).

They have no right to force you to add them as your friend (that's like requiring you to CC them in all your private emails), and they have no right to require a password from you. I'm a big employer-rights guy, but that's asking too much.
 

ruckstande

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Apr 2, 2005
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#17
Then it's a different situation. You're no longer dealing with public information.



As is your right. That's what I would probably do.



One's feelings about their job effects their job performance. So do things like how much you party during the week. If a company has a policy of disallowing pot use, a potential employee who smokes pot won't be very forthcoming about their pot intake. Since most people are idiots and idiots that smoke pot tend to be open online about it, a quick check of the pot-smoking potential employee's Facebook page is 100% in order.

Personally, I don't completely agree with this practice; my argument is that the practice is legal and the information most companies look for is relevant.
If I make my account private on Facebook deny them my password how is that public information?
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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#19
If I make my account private on Facebook deny them my password how is that public information?
Unless you set your Facebook profile to "private", the information that you post on it is visible to everyone.
 

ruckstande

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Apr 2, 2005
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#20
Unless you set your Facebook profile to "private", the information that you post on it is visible to everyone.
I just read your first response. I thought you said it was acceptable for an employer to ask for your password. My mistake, but do you think it is acceptable to not how you because you won't grant them access?
 
May 16, 2007
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#22
It's a violation of the Facebook terms of service for the potential employee to turn over credentials, and possibly running afoul of computer trespass statutes (depending on state) for the employer to use them.

Not only is it not employers' business to care about the non-public aspects of a potential hire's Facebook account, but why should employers be able to ignore Facebook's right to control access to Facebook's own systems?
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
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#24
Unless you set your Facebook profile to "private", the information that you post on it is visible to everyone.
I don't think you read the bill. It's specifically saying they want to make it illegal for an employer to ask for access to your private profile.