A recent syndicated article has been making the rounds, addressing the practice of employers requiring prospective employees to provide their Facebook username and password during the initial interview process. The article is titled “Can Employers Legally Ask You for Your Facebook Password When You Apply for a Job?” Why Congress and the states should ban this practice.” As the title indicates, this article is about the legal steps that are being taken and can be taken to address this questionable labor contracting practice. However, what is missing in That article is the more practical and demanding side of the problem, which is the occasion faced by the job seeker, when asked for this private information.
From the point of view of both an employer and an employment law attorney, I will attempt to briefly address this issue. The question is: Until real laws are put in place to prevent the practice of an employer requesting an interviewee’s Facebook login information, what can you do to protect your Facebook privacy during your search for a new job?
Is my Facebook information private?
Yes and No. Let me explain….
First, keep it clean! Always keep in mind that Facebook is constantly (apparently) changing its interface and privacy settings – stay on top of these changes and select your own personal security and privacy settings wisely. Only expose things to the public that you want the public to see. Regardless of the ability to select privacy settings, you should assume that changes to these settings or future security breaches could cause your “private” published information to become public. Also, anything you post isn’t really private anyway, which is really why we “post” to Facebook in the first place, since it gets shared among your Facebook “friends.” Please note that the accounts of those friends may be shared or accessible by their spouses, family members, friends, and therefore the information you make visible to them could be shared with others, accidentally or deliberately.
Next, despite the above, I continue to believe that there is an “expectation of privacy” in many aspects of our Facebook accounts. We hope that your privacy settings work as intended and that our comments, posts, etc. it will not be shared with the general public, even if we have considered the possibility that friends or relatives of friends can see our posts, comments and pages. However, we clearly have an expectation that the settings we choose, our passwords, our private emails to friends through the Facebook email interface will remain private. When a potential employer asks for your username and password, they ask for private and sensitive information: your password, which may be linked to other accounts or have some other personal meaning that we don’t want to share. In addition, they request access to all your activity on Facebook: every post, every game, every comment, every email. You reasonably expect many of these things themselves to remain private. Furthermore, it is reasonably expected that only you will see the accumulation of this data. Would any potential employer request access to your private email account, your computer hard drive, the full metadata and internet browser history of every site you’ve ever visited on your computer? Of course not, but logging into your Facebook account gives you this same kind of information: access to any personal email you’ve sent through the Facebook email interface, a full view of each and every posts and comments you’ve made, a quick view of ALL your activity on Facebook, spanning as long as you’ve had your Facebook account, and access to your security settings, friend lists, blocked friends, etc. This is an invasion of your reasonable expectation of privacy.
How do I respond to a request for My Facebook login information from a prospective employer?
If you’ve read the paragraph above, I think a very pragmatic approach to addressing such a request would be to explain in response to such a query, outlining the concerns outlined above. Combine those privacy concerns with an offer of a less intrusive method for the prospective employer to obtain the information they seek. What is the employer looking for? In part, it could simply be to assess how you respond to that request. So be prepared to respond with confidence, addressing your privacy concerns and offering a different approach, and turning the question back to the employer. Ask the interviewer or prospective employer what he’s looking for and, if it’s reasonable in her opinion, offer to be a “friend” to give him a glimpse of the available information. Alternatively, you can simply offer to answer their questions on any given topic, thereby putting the onus on them to explain what precise information they are looking for. These approaches show problem-solving and critical thinking skills on your part, which are likely to be good qualities for whatever job you’re looking for. They show that you are cooperative and that you work constructively to resolve potential conflicts, while standing up for your beliefs.
Do I need to create a second Facebook profile?
Creating a second, “clean” or fictitious Facebook profile is one possible approach to the situation, as well as a way to “friend” your mother or other family members, while protecting the privacy of their less discreet or more discreet posts. lewd or frivolous activities and activities between you and your closest “friends.” Keep in mind, however, that by doing this, friends, family, or potential employers with whom you share the information on the fictitious account may discover or learn of the existence of your other account(s) and may react unpleasantly at the delusion of being directed or relegated to a second fictitious account.
Can I use my work computer or cell phone for personal use, social media, email, Facebook?
The simple answer to this question is NO! I get asked this question a lot, and the basic answer is that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in any information digitally transmitted or entered on/through a work computer, cell phone, or other device. The device belongs to your employer and therefore the employer has the right to confiscate or view the device at any time, and regardless of whether or not you delete the ESI (electronically stored information), as most people understand in this digital age , the ESI is rarely removed. ever completely erases and destroys that information. Without going into the technical details of it (which I’m not qualified to fully expose anyway), when you delete electronically stored information, you’re simply removing the ROM’s access and indexing of that information – the actual information itself remains. on disk, albeit partitioned somewhere and not indexed. It may eventually be partially or completely overwritten, but that may not happen for a considerable period of time, if at all. Also, when transmitting information through your corporate device, that information is likely to pass through and be processed by your company’s server, leaving traces and the actual underlying information there for your employer to see. Additionally, auto-stored passwords and the like, if enabled, can give your employer easy access to ALL of your account information. This topic deserves much more, but that is not the purpose of this article.
In conclusion, this is a very interesting topic, both from a legislative and labor standpoint, and I look forward to reading any relevant comments, anecdotes, and ultimately seeing how this landscape evolves over time.