Posts Tagged ‘demanding’

Does CA Really Need a “Social Media Privacy Act?” No Matter, SB 1349, the Job Interview Facebook Password Law, is Here

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Uhhhhhhhhhhh, I’m not going to articulate myself on this one.

But you, you go right ahead, feel free to tell your buds what you think. (But first, please email me your FB account names / passwords, and your intimate photos and whatnot.)

All right, off you go:

“California Senate Approves Social Media Privacy Act - Yee’s SB 1349 will prohibit employers, colleges from seeking Facebook, Twitter passwords

SACRAMENTO – On a bipartisan 28-5 vote, the California Senate today approved legislation authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) to stop employers from formally requesting or demanding employees or job applicants provide their social media usernames and passwords.

Yee’s bill also prohibits public and private colleges and universities from requiring such information of students.

The bill comes after a growing number of businesses, public agencies, and colleges around the country are asking job seekers, workers, and students for their Facebook and Twitter account information.

“I am pleased by today’s overwhelming vote to end this unacceptable invasion of personal privacy,” said Yee. “The practice of employers or colleges demanding social media passwords is entirely unnecessary and completely unrelated to someone’s performance or abilities.”

In addition to the privacy of students and workers, accessing social media accounts may also invade the privacy of family members and friends who thought they only were sharing information with their own social media network.

“These social media outlets are often for the purpose of individuals to share private information – including age, marital status, religion, sexual orientation and personal photos – with their closest friends and family,” said Yee. “This information is illegal for employers and colleges to use in making employment and admission decisions and has absolutely no bearing on a person’s ability to do their job or be successful in the classroom.”

“SB 1349 is a significant step towards securing Californians’ constitutional right to privacy, both online and offline, in the workplace and in school,” said Jon Fox, Consumer Advocate for CALPIRG.

“If employers are permitted to access the private information of job applicants, unscrupulous hiring managers will be given greater leeway to circumvent anti-discrimination laws,” said Joe Ridout of Consumer Action.

Rather than formally requesting passwords and usernames, some employers have demanded applicants and employees to sit down with managers to review their social media content or fully print out their social media pages. SB 1349 will also prohibit this practice.

Shannon Minter, Legal Director for National Center for Lesbian Rights, said that the practice of requesting social media passwords is the equivalent to reading a personal diary, and also LGBT employees, job applicants, and students already face significant obstacles when applying for schools and jobs.

Minter said that SB 1349 helps ensures individuals are “judged by their qualifications and performance, rather than elements of their private life.”

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Lori Andrews, who specializes in Internet privacy, told the Associated Press that these practices even when given voluntarily should not be allowed.

“Volunteering is coercion if you need a job,” Andrews told the AP.

Johnny Veloz, an unemployed photographer, told KCRA Sacramento that he was asked for his Facebook password during a recent job interview. Veloz was denied the job after refusing to provide the information.

“For me, that’s rude and it’s not respectful,” Veloz told KCRA. “Someone has privacy and you expect them to respect that.”

Yee’s bill would also prohibit employers and colleges from demanding personal email addresses and login information of employees, applicants, and students.

SB 1349 will now be considered by the State Assembly before heading to the Governor.”

And oh, if I ever crafted a “social media privacy act,” I can just about guarantee you that Facebook WOULD NOT LIKE IT. Not one bit.

Just saying.