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WA State Bill Would Allow Bosses To Seek Facebook Passwords 316

Posted by Soulskill
from the no,-go-away dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A bill amendment proposed Tuesday could allow employers to ask for a worker's Facebook or other social media password during company investigations. The provision was proposed for a bill that safeguards social network passwords of workers and job applicants. The measure bars employers from asking for social media credentials during job interviews. The amendment says that an employer conducting an investigation may require or demand access to a personal account if an employee or prospective employee has allegations of work-place misconduct or giving away an employer's proprietary information. The amendment would require an investigation to ensure compliance with applicable laws or regulatory requirements."
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WA State Bill Would Allow Bosses To Seek Facebook Passwords

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  • Solved! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Miseph (979059) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @06:33PM (#43352761) Journal

    This is easily avoided by simply refusing to participate in facebook and other social media. Actually, that solves a lot of really stupid problems. I highly recommend it.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @06:34PM (#43352771)
    Does the law force one to comply? I think a simple "pound sand" would suffice.

    Granted, you maybe shit canned over it, but such is life.

    I do not agree with the law. If they want it, they should have to go to court and require a judge to force it to be handed over. BS IMO.
  • by adamchou (993073) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @06:45PM (#43352923)
    If the company hire a PI to do an investigation, doesn't Facebook already have provisions in their TOS that says they'll give up access to the account?
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @07:08PM (#43353131)

    Why would the courts be willing to strike down something that's so beneficial to corporations? The courts are just as corrupt as the rest of the government.

    True, but the corruption that sticks around is the corruption that goes unnoticed. Let's assume they pass this law, and for some reason it actually is upheld. There will be nobody in a few years using their real name on the internet... a new darknet will spring up promising anonymity and security, because the fact is: Social networking is so massively popular and useful that people won't willingly give it up. What they will do, is manage the risk. Remember Fucked Company back during the dot com bubble? They were being served so many legal subpoenas and warrants a day that they had someone hired to stand at the door and sign for them. Very few of those court actions went anywhere, because they never could track down who made the postings. And that's how it'll be again.

    The laws cannot change human nature. They can only frame and channel it -- and the more it goes against the flow, the greater the amount of force required. The government, for its massive bulk and power, cannot contend with the inertia of the general public. If it wants something, all the guns, bullets, tanks, and laws in the world amount to exactly dick. You cannot stop 300+ million people saying "No." You can only hold back so much before the dam breaks.

    The irony of it all is this cozy relationship between corporations and the government, with each co-opting our liberties for the benefit of the other, is pushing people to embrace new technologies and ways of maintaining their own independence from the superstructure. Look at the "Silk Road". It wouldn't have been possible to create a hidden website on the internet that passes tons of drugs around every day worldwide if it hadn't been for governments trying to restrict the freedoms of the average person. By censoring everyone, enough social pressure was created to cause the invention of a new technology to circumvent that attempt.

    And as a result, not only did the censorship fail, but it also decreased the level of control the government (all governments, actually, worldwide) had over the black market trade of drugs. Laws that do not abide by the commonly-held values of the population it serves become poison to those who try to enforce them.

  • Re:Do not bother (Score:4, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @07:52PM (#43353457)

    It'll be considered too "creepy and suspicious".

    As opposed to having current and former employers stalking our facebook pages, which isn't creepy at all.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @08:06PM (#43353557)

    his is specifically covering a private corporation investigating itâ(TM)s own employeeâ(TM)s â" so I am not sure the 5th comes into play,

    It's actually a thorny problem. A cursory examination of Washington's case law didn't come up with anything, but other courts have held that "The Fifth Amendment ⦠is not concerned with âmoral and psychological pressures to confess emanating from sources other than official coercion.â(TM)" In other words, statements coerced by non-governmental entities do not violate the privilege. Boyd v. State, 1987 OK CR 211, 743 P.2d 674 In fact, there is case law that specifically looks at employers. In Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157, 166-170, 107 S.Ct. 515 (1986), the court held "outrageous behavior by a private party seeking to secure evidence against a defendant does not make that evidence inadmissible."

    So basically, a company can put you over a barrel, threaten you, extort you, fire you, levy fines and penalties against you, and it's all totally legal. And thus, a law allowing them to demand these things, and the penalties being any of the above sanctions, would also be legal... even without the law. The law, as it were, is superfluous: Employers can do this right now without fear of reprisal.

  • Re:technical problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smhsmh (1139709) <[ude.tim.mula] [ta] [hms]> on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @09:16PM (#43354037)

    There may be conflicting law against the employer.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference [wikipedia.org]

    It could be argued that agreeing to the terms of Facebook establishes a contract with Facebook. That contract prohibits disclosing one's password to anyone else. Anyone trying to force a violation of that contract could be committing tortious interference, which could be actionable in civil court.

    It might be that Facebook would have no losses in such a violation, but one's friends would have information intended only for friends to have acess disclosed to this employers. That loss of privacy could give thoe friends grounds for civil action.

    I'm not a lawyer, and glad of it...

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