[A version of this article originally appeared on the Regis Career Services blog.] In an age where sharing is more prevalent than ever before, there are still some things most people prefer not to share, like private access to their personal social media accounts.
According to a recent WSJ article, a candidate was asked to provide his Facebook login information (username AND password) when the interviewer couldn’t access his private profile. The candidate not only refused, but withdrew his candidacy claiming he didn’t want to work for a company that would seek out such information.
This story has captivated the nation and forced job seekers to examine their boundaries, and the kind of information they are willing to provide potential employers, in order to further their application.
It has also spurned investigations and legislation to determine how far employers can go in requesting or demanding private and personal information about their employees, and if companies are indeed violating federal law under the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
On March 28, 2012 the House of Representatives voted down an amendment that would have banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts, which was part of a larger FCC reform package. It is expected that this amendment will return for vote again but under separate legislation.
According to ZDnet who ran coverage of this privacy legislation, Facebook “stirred up quite the storm when it outlined how it wants to protect its users from employers demanding access to their accounts. Remember: sharing or soliciting a Facebook password is a violation of the social network’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”
It is no surprise that companies are doing as much research on you as you are doing on them. Think of how much an employer can learn about you from your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. Review your privacy settings on each account to control the amount of information the public can view.
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