Facebook Privacy Issues

March 22, 2012 by staff 

Facebook Privacy Issues, As digital technology grows and evolves, our notion of issues like our own privacy change. What goes on the Internet is always out there somewhere. Facebook, the most popular of the social networks, has more than 800 million active users worldwide and about 200 million in the United States, according to The New York Times. That means that two-thirds of the U.S. population uses Facebook.

Now for the scary news: The Associated Press reported this week that potential employers are asking applicants for their Facebook log in information if their profile information isn’t public.

In case you are one of the one-third of Americans not on Facebook, here’s a primer: You can set your own privacy settings on your page. You decide who can and can’t see the various parts of your Facebook page. That includes personal notes, photos, general information about yourself, your friends on Facebook and who you follow and like among Facebook sites. There can be a lot of information, or just a little.

Now some employers want to see what an applicant has posted before hiring them.

To say the least, it’s invasive to demand access like this.

It’s common sense to never post anything online that you wouldn’t want your grandmother or future employer to see. It’s been the custom for employers to have a look at an applicant’s publicly available Facebook pages during the vetting process.

But if you’ve taken the steps to protect your privacy, it’s not right to demand access as a condition for employment.

“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor told The Associated Press.

Some employers require an applicant to “friend” an company representative, giving them access to private information.

What do these employers do about applicants who don’t have a social network page?

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