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Facebook Privacy Your Rights Online

Senators Ask Feds To Probe Facebook Log-in Requests 396

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-friend-list-of-mine dept.
thomst writes "Cnet's Michelle Meyers reports that democratic senators Richard Blumenthal and Charles Schumer have asked the Justice Department to investigate what they call a 'new disturbing trend' of prospective employers demanding job applicants to turn over user names and passwords for their social networks. 'Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries — why should they be able to ask them for their Facebook passwords and gain unwarranted access to a trove of private information about what we like, what messages we send to people, or who we are friends with?' asked Schumer. Last Friday, in response to complaints from employees, Facebook published a post expressing its opposition to the practice, which it said undermines both the security and the privacy of the user and the user's friends. Erin Egan, the company's chief privacy officer for policy, offered that employers who demand password information for prospective employees might just end up getting sued."
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Senators Ask Feds To Probe Facebook Log-in Requests

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  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Monday March 26, 2012 @09:19AM (#39473861)

    Pah! So what happens to people like me with no social network? The can't ask me to send something I don't have.

    Whereas, I am legitimately not on any social network. I wonder if they could prove otherwise for people who are.

  • by rednip (186217) <rednip&gmail,com> on Monday March 26, 2012 @09:28AM (#39473975) Journal
    How else will employers weed out undesirables?

    Background checks that will include posting on public forums, likely even ones which used aliases. Thanks to third party tracking cookies many are already able to match up people with their 'anonymous', eventually someone will monetize it by allowing searches through decades of posting.

  • by bodland (522967) on Monday March 26, 2012 @09:39AM (#39474121) Homepage
    Expect a bill to be introduced by Republicans that allows employers full access to employee's personal account info if at anyway related to the employment.

    Also companies are increasingly utilising social networks for marketing and PR and will use employees as a "PR" echo chamber to evangelise the employer and or it's products.

    Expect this to be made legal....and the justification is the old terrorism mantra...."If you have nothing to hide, then what's the problem...?"
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Monday March 26, 2012 @09:45AM (#39474199)

    Pah! So what happens to people like me with no social network? The can't ask me to send something I don't have.

    Whereas, I am legitimately not on any social network. I wonder if they could prove otherwise for people who are.

    Potential Employer: "Er, so you are saying you're not part of any social network online whatsoever?"

    You: "Yes, that is correct."

    (Potential Employer quietly checks the box next to "Does not play well with others", and upon conclusion of the interview, places your resume in the "don't bother" pile)

    Think they really need to "prove" anything at all? Companies that stoop to this level of valuation of a potential employee obviously have their priorities screwed up, so don't be shocked if this kind of crap actually goes on.

    Social networks performing social engineering on society. Gotta love watching the brainwashing of the masses.

  • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:00AM (#39474377) Journal
    I do well in interviews. Always have, and probably always will. It's the smile, the handshake and my unwillingness to bullshit.

    Some businesses just want to tell you how great they are. Some people just want to tell you how great they are; how they've climbed the ladder - "You too could be a fat manager on 50k if you turn yourself into a lying slob like me!" No, not me, you're mistaken.

    Other businesses just stick to the questions, one after another after another. These are the hardest. They don't care that I'm not planning to be here in five years, and can't understand me not wanting to answer the question. ("I need a job to pay the bills", was an actual answer that landed me one job. Ask me that question again after I've worked for you for a month).

    The best interviews are always friendly chats.

    My point? Interviews are a two-way process. They want to know about me and, this is the part some don't understand, I want to know about them.

    What was your turnover last year? And the year before? (are you going to be around next year?)

    Why did this vacancy become available? Why did the other person leave? (is this a shit job? Are they willing to bullshit me?)

    What are the staff turnover rates? (is this whole place shit?)

    Can I have your Facebook password? (never been asked, but if they want mine...)

    Ask questions. Ask why. Ask it five times. And remember that bullshit stinks. It may take a while to reach your nose but it stinks all the same. Everyone knows the smell.
  • by fast turtle (1118037) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:05AM (#39474425) Journal

    Let Facebook deal with the problem in the only way these idiots are going to learn, through a Lawsuit from Facebook for interfering with their business since that's esentially what they are doing. Facebook also has the right to remove all listings/postings by that company and employees for the TOS violation. Combine that with a nice juicy lawsuit, even if FB doesn't win and the CEO's/Boards will get the message quick time.

  • by mrbester (200927) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:09AM (#39474475) Homepage
    "If you are a so called IT person who is applying for something better than flipping burgers, then why are you not keeping up with modern day technology? Why should we hire a fossil, when any middle school kid can understand the concept of a social network, which you have demonstrated that you have failed to do so?" My retort to such insulting questions: "If you knew anything about IT you'd be asking questions related to my experience and suitability for the position. You know nothing about me, yet have made a snap judgment about me based on my answer to a question you don't even understand and basically called me incompetent. I have decided that you are not a suitable company for me to work for and my feedback to the recruiter who put us together will not be favorable. Interview terminated." (exit stage left)
  • by sirlark (1676276) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#39474583)
    Isn't handing over your login credentials a violation of Facebook's ToS? And if so, isn't requiring that prospective employees do so in essence forcing them to violate contractual terms? And isn't THAT illegal somehow? IANAL, and I'm genuinely curious.
  • by msobkow (48369) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:03AM (#39475213) Homepage Journal

    ...but is not illegal

    Actually, it is illegal in Canada, and given the similarity between clause 8 of the Charter of Rights and the American Constitution's clause on "search and seizure", it should be illegal in the US as well.

    The difference is that in Canada, companies and people asked the government and legislators for an interpretation to confirm that it's illegal.

    In the US, companies went ahead without legal advice and are waiting to be sued so the courts can clarify their position -- in 5-10 years, and after a few million has been spent on a class action law suit.

  • by ffflala (793437) on Monday March 26, 2012 @01:51PM (#39477169)
    It's actually not difficult for facebook to know that you're using a pseudonym. Even if you don't accept, many family members will probably at least send you friend requests. If you accept any, many of them will also try to indicate your familial relationship --you can choose not to confirm it, but it's still telling. Many of your friends will address you by your real name. Even worse, people you're not connected to but have known in the past might label your pictures with your real name, regardless of whether or not you're f/b friends.

    Each of these might be weak proof on its own, but add enough of them together --particularly tagged photos-- and you soon have a lot of circumstantial evidence indicating that Billy Bob Beerhouse is actually Osawald McWeany.

    I signed up with a pseudonym, and by now every one of the examples I've mentioned above has happened, some frequently. F/b would have to be intentionally ignorant by this point *not* to know what my real name is. While pseudonyms are officially against f/b policy, I think they tend to let it slide as long as you're generating enough data/revenue.

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