Monday, May 7, 2012

Employer Access to Your Social Network Accounts? Fuggedaboutit!

In the past few months there’s been a lot of uproar on the subject of allowing an employer to see a potential employee’s Facebook account. Have heard and read that it’s illegal, though I don’t know for sure. 

The good news is there are current initiatives from several states that may put it all to rest. 

One in particular, 'The Social Networking Online Protection Act’, would prevent potential and current employers from asking for access to a social media account of an employee or potential one. Hurray!

Here’s my ponderings on this subject.

How private IS your Facebook profile? If it’s set to public, your future employer will see it without even having to ask you. Are you nursing a beer in any photos? Is your language colorful? If so, you may be kissing that job goodbye.

If you are set to friends only or custom, a potential employer will see your profile pic and cover art and little else.

If you don’t want an employer to find anything, there’s a few options in Facebook as far as how searchable you are. Your profile can be removed from being searchable all together or perhaps you’d like friends of friends to find you; it’s another option to consider. 

In all the discussion about Facebook profiles lately, why hasn’t Google+ received the same scrutiny? After all, there’s 170 to 195 million accounts there (dependent on source). Surely, there’s accounts that are tightly wrapped that never go beyond those folks in circles that an employer would love to take a look at.

And what about all those private accounts on Twitter? You know, the protected ones where the tweep has to follow you back before you can see their tweets? 

Employers, don’t you want to see EVERYTHING? Why just Facebook?

But it gets better. Employers, why not ask to enter a potential employee’s home then? Have a look around. Do they make the bed and do the dishes? Is there a recycling bin? Are yesterday’s clothes strewn about on the floor?

No, you wouldn’t think of going to see someone’s home, would you? Is asking to see a Facebook account just as invasive? Family photos, the pet dog, their last vacation to the Jersey Shore or Santa Cruz? It seems absurd to even ask to see the private life of someone. 

If someone has the ability to do the job, is it necessary to know more? It certainly wasn’t not so many years ago. 

Facebook will defend you, the user, against this practice. How hard will they fight for you? Well, that remains to be seen. 

Of course, you can always get sneaky and have TWO Facebook accounts. One that is buried way underground where you can hang out with your closest friends and curse, rant, and let it all hang out to your heart’s content and the other that’s more public and on the generic side. Don’t tell anyone I suggested this to you…

Do you have secrets? Carly Simon doesn't. 

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ ...stop by; say hi!


Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary on a subject that deeply troubles me, and you nailed it on the head with your statement "If someone has the ability to do the job, is it necessary to know more?" I'm at a loss when trying to understand corporate America's thoughts in being as intrusive into people's personal lives as they are quickly doing. Tim

Anonymous said...

One of the best sales reps I know dresses in questionable ways in private life. Who cares? She gets the job done efficiently, every time. Her customer service is impeccable. What she does after hours is not relevant.

Gerry Wendel said...

Sounds like she is being herself! Thanks for the comment.

Gerry Wendel said...

It seems that George Orwell may have been right; it's just taking longer than he predicted. People do have the power to question and change things and in regards to this issue, the momentum has already begun.

DebbieMahler said...

Good post Gerry!

Anne Reade said...

Great job, Gerry. Wanting to see your Facebook account is the same as demanding to see all your personal snail mail and phone conversations. This is all getting much too "spooky".

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