Employees being asked for social media login information has been a huge deal recently, as more and more reports have come out about requirements to get/keep certain jobs. Facebook has spoken out about this, warning employers to cease requests at once. Despite this requests, the demands for employee login credentials persist, and it’s caused the matter to grab the attention of the government. Briefly.
An amendment that was proposed to the House of Representatives about stopping employers from requesting this information from employees was quickly defeated Wednesday by House Republicans.
The measure was originally introduced, as part of a larger FCC bill, by the Democratic representative from Colorado, Mr. Ed Perlmutter, and was defeated swiftly by a vote of 236-185. The intention behind the amendment, as stated by Perlmutter during a floor debate before the vote, was to protect the privacy of employees, and to allow them to conform to the terms and conditions of third-parties in order to get a job.
“What this amendment does is it says that you cannot demand, as a condition of employment, that somebody reveal a confidential password to their Facebook, to their Flickr, to their Twitter, whatever their account may be.”
As it stands, people are basically required to break the conditions of having an account with a social network in order for their employers to snoop around.
Perlmutter was insistent that the amendment “would not change the overall impact or intent of the FCC Reform Act,” but House Republicans gave him plenty of resistance. Some Republicans were open, however, to addressing this issue in a separate bill.
Responses on this matter has been spreading quickly around the world, and it has gotten the attention of government. According to Mashable, U.S. senator Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.) is planning on to introduce a bill to prevent the practice. Blumenthal, along with Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.), is also calling for the Department of Justice to investigate the issue.
Facebook also had some words to say about the matter, telling employers to stop requiring their users to break Facebook rules by sharing their login credentials. There are huge privacy concerns within this issue, as giving an employer access to your Facebook will not only put private and sensitive information into the open outside of an employee’s control, but will also jeopardize the privacy of their friends as well.
More on this concern: Facebook’s Got Your Back
This shouldn’t really be a huge surprise when I see the comments, but do you feel it’s appropriate for employers to ask for social media login credentials when hiring employees? Should businesses be allowed to take such extreme precautions about a person’s character, habits, interests, and off-the-clock activities when debating whether or not they can be trusted within their company? Leave your comments and concerns in the comments below.