Invasion of privacy or a legal right?

I recently saw a posting on Facebook about how employers are starting to as prospective employees for their Facebook and social media login information.

Fortunately, my company had no such request. In fact, I am Facebook friends with some of my co-workers and one of the owners of our company. It’s a small company, but a fairly close-knit one. I don’t make a point of posting anything that is something that I wouldn’t want my employer to know.

Then again, I don’t use illegal drugs, I don’t party half-naked, and while I do enjoy drinking with friends, it doesn’t get out of hand.

My gut feeling about this request by employers is that it’s an invasion of privacy. Just because we now have social media outlets to post inappropriate party photos, it doesn’t mean it’s a right for your company to have access to them (or for a potential employer to see how often you partake in the wacky tabacky).

Ten years ago, before Facebook, Twitter, or even MySpace, people still did the same things. They just didn’t have phones with photo capabilities, or if they did, they didn’t have a place to share those photos with the entire world. What you did in your free time was not accessible on the internet. Just because we now have the means by which to sneak a peek into anyone’s personal lives doesn’t mean we should do so. Worried about illegal drug use? Make a potential employee submit to a drug test.

I can understand concerns about employees coming to work late after a night of partying. But you run that same risk with hiring a new mom, a student, or an insomniac – you know, other people who may be up late even though they’d rather not be.

So, I don’t know. My opinion is that it’s an invasion of privacy. Of course I also believe you shouldn’t post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want someone finding out about. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think a potential employer has the right to ask for your social media login information?

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About Katie

Katie is the owner of Katie Talks About... A working mom to Violet, born Sept. 2008, and wife to Scott since Aug. 2006. We live in suburban Denver, CO. I love baseball, good beer, my cats, and long naps!

Comments

  1. I know my office manager will look up potential employees on Facebook to check them out first.

    • Katie says:

      Do you feel it is right, though? Because all it will do is lead people to become unsearchable on Facebook or to make their account as private as possible. I still believe it’s an invasion of privacy. Just because we now have social media doesn’t make it right to use against someone in my opinion.

  2. Skye Moyer says:

    That is WAY WAY WAY beyond invasion,. That is insne

  3. Anne says:

    Checking out a public page is fine, but asking to log on to their account is way over the line.

  4. Amy says:

    I think if they can find the info by searching the internet that’s fine. But asking for their login information is way too far. I wouldn’t let anyone have my login info – not because of what they could find but what they could do – post as me, contact others, steal otherr people’s info. No thanks!

  5. Toni says:

    Definitely an invasion.

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