News outlets are all a-twitter about the practice of some employers to ask applicants for their Facebook login and password information, so they can have a “look around” as part of the interview process. Click here and here, for sample stories. The ACLU has weighed in, with the following statement:
It’s an invasion of privacy for private employers to insist on looking at people’s private Facebook pages as a condition of employment or consideration in an application process. People are entitled to their private lives. You’d be appalled if your employer insisted on opening up your postal mail to see if there was anything of interest inside. It’s equally out of bounds for an employer to go on a fishing expedition through a person’s private social media account.
Legislators in Illinois and Maryland agree, and have introduced bills restricting the practice. We will keep you posted as this story plays out, in the press, legislatures, and courts.