Do you have to give your Facebook password to your employer?

With the rise of social networking sites, managers want to check Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts, and other publicly available websites to learn more about candidates and employees.

Many Facebook users do not have their profiles set to private, which would make them available only to select people or certain networks. There is a big difference between an employer seeing public postings and private information.

Employees and prospective employees should have the right to keep their Facebook, Twitter, or other social media profiles that contain sensitive information private from the prying eyes of their bosses.

Employees and job applicants have an expectation of privacy when it comes to using social networks like Facebook and Twitter, including the right to have their right to freedom of expression protected.

Employers are not required to require access to applicants’ or employees’ private password-protected information stored online. Yet there have been a number of reports of job applicants during interviews being asked to log into their Facebook and other websites and allow potential Employers to browse their profile, acquaintances and other personal information, whilst others are simply being asked to list their passwords on job Applications. Other job seekers have even been asked to befriend HR managers!

Employers have traditionally not required job applicants to hand over their home keys or bank account information, so why should they be able to access your private information stored online?

It’s like letting your employer access your mail to see if there’s anything of interest inside. It would give Employers the ability to act as an impostor and assume the identity of an employee, continuously access, monitor and possibly even manipulate an employee’s personal social activities, communications, associations and opinions.

Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities states that sharing or requesting a Facebook password is a violation of its terms of service, however, Employers cannot count on Facebook suing an Employer for such a violation.

Legislation is being passed to address the current situation, based on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which deals with hacking, to safeguard Employees’ online identities. The Password Protection Act of 2012 will prohibit employers from accessing “protected computers” where social media files are kept.

Subject to some exceptions, it will prevent employers from forcing employees and prospective employees to provide access to their private online systems, including Facebook, email and other online storage.

The bill is broad in its wording and is not limited to any specific website. It focuses on the servers where the information is hosted or stored, taking the emphasis away from having to identify and define a particular type of internet service. This means that an employer may not force an employee to provide access to their Facebook or Twitter account as a condition of their employment.

Prohibit Employers from compelling employees to provide access to information stored on any computer not owned or controlled by the employer. The Act will protect the information even if it is accessed on a computer owned by the employer. It will also prohibit an employer from discriminating or retaliating against a prospective or current employee if that employee refuses to provide access to a password-protected account.

Therefore, if an employee is just looking at a social network on his work computer, an employer will not be able to force the employee to reveal a password, since this would allow him to access another computer, being the computer of the social network that the employee. employee is examining. The protection conferred by the Act extends to Gmail accounts, photo-sharing websites, and employee-owned smartphones.

Since the Act is drafted in a way that is largely technology-neutral, its effect is likely to be unaffected by changes in technology. New online technologies continue to evolve and emerge, rendering legislation obsolete. However, because the Password Protection Act of 2002 is not limited to protecting a particular service such as a social networking service, it is flexible enough to anticipate evolving uses of the technology, as it is focuses on access to a computer.

The Act covers any new service as long as it is not hosted on any employer’s computer. However, there are exceptions in the legislation and students are not protected from social media monitoring and therefore may be forced to hand over their social media passports.

However, there is another law to be introduced, the Social Media Online Protection Act, which will close this gap by conferring protection on both employers and students.

However, if you are a government employee or an employee working with children under the age of 13, the Act allows States that legislate in this area to provide an exemption, while another exception allows the executive branch to exempt entire classes. of workers if they come into contact with classified information, including soldiers. These exceptions to the protection conferred therefore penalize extensive and radical fishing expeditions in the privacy and communications of the Employees.

There is already a wide range of means to investigate employee misconduct. In addition, Internet activities are constantly creating many new types of records, and these can already be used against employees in investigations.

CONCLUSION

While the new legislation is a major step forward in preventing Employers from taking adverse action as a result of an employee’s refusal to provide access to their private accounts, Employers still reserve the right to allow social media activities within their office only on a voluntary basis and implement policies regarding the use of operated computers. Once you are employed, you may be required to sign an acceptable use policy related to the use of social media in the workplace. You may have enjoyed free speech online, however, you may be required to sign a non-disparagement agreement that prohibits you from speaking negatively about an employer on social networking sites. Therefore, employees who violate these acceptable use policies will remain responsible for any activity that violates these policies.

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