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Maryland Bans Employers From Asking For Facebook Passwords 211

Freddybear writes with news that yesterday Maryland passed a bill through both houses of the state legislature that would forbid employers from requiring job applicants or employees to provide access to social media accounts. The bill now awaits only the signature of governor Martin O'Malley. "The bill is the first of its kind in the country, and has shined a spotlight on the practice of employers demanding personal social media passwords from potential hires, [said Melissa Goemann of the ACLU]." Similar legislation is being developed in California, Illinois and Michigan, according to the Washington Post.
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Maryland Bans Employers From Asking For Facebook Passwords

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  • Not a problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @10:18PM (#39639747) Journal

    Just accept that friendly request from that HR lady as a condition of employment.

    Just last night I saw an ad on craigslist where the employer wanted me to click on a emloyment site that used Facebook as a login and requirement. I figured it was a scam. But it did offer a new password that you could choose different from Facebook but you had to friend the site first ... and the employer can check to see if you have a pic drinking or do a grammar and spelling check on your casual entries etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @10:27PM (#39639807)

    I've never heard of an employer asking this before. Do they try to save money buy using it as an alternative background check or something? Asking for someone's password seems ridiculous.

    In the words of Bill Hicks, "Where's all this shit happening?!"

    I keep reading about this but have never seen it happen myself or talked to anyone whose had it happen to them.

  • Seattle as well. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:03AM (#39640505)

    The Seattle police department had (as of last year) a similar requirement as part of their background check on applicants.

    In that specific case I can see it being more reasonable. After all, they're already going to interview your friends and family and dig through your financial history.

  • Re:Not a problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:59AM (#39640857)

    I grew up in, and still live in a "right to work" state, which really means the employers have absolutely no reason to even give you a reason as they boot you out the door. Monday morning hangovers have never been an issue, and I have worked for a few places that do not require a drug test at all with reasonable insurance, though you show up after lunch, glassy eyed and giggly, up your gone.

    somehow its never been a problem, maybe becuase I know better, and am not a retard who thinks just because I got a job one day, I deserve it for life

  • Re:Think further. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:14AM (#39640923)

    Focus your Facebook account on your off-hours hobby of DJ'ing for gay Jewish inter-racial couples retreats.

    Then let them explain themselves if they don't hire you. They'd have to demonstrate how your off-hours activity did NOT influence their hiring process.

    After they kind of implied that your off-hours hobbies WOULD influence their hiring decision.

    It's a lose-lose for them. I don't see why any company with any intelligent HR person would even broach the subject of "social media" with applicants.

    There are third party services that'll google you and search for public social network information. These services are the ones who see your actual information and they black out anything that is illegal to be used - i.e., if you have a normal photo of yourself, your face and hands (but not, say your T-shirt) will be blacked out to prevent revealing race, age, and gender. Any other information that reveals it will also be blacked out.

    Here's an example one someone ran [].

    So the company can claim ignorance by presenting this stuff.

    Of course, things that invalid this check would be asking for you password directly (since they could access it). Which s why these companies don't do that - they just seek out blogs, profiles and other stuff publicly accessible.

  • Re:Think further. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:44AM (#39641083)

    HR has switched from finding the best talent for a position to mean discluding any and I mean any reason not to hire someone and then claim they couldn't find qualified applicants.

    Dead on. I work full time and am finishing grad school and looking for a new job and that's the impression my friends and I have had of the majority of people we interact with from potential employers. They blatantly go out of their way to find reasons NOT to interview / hire people instead of finding the best candidate for the job.

    Witness the case of requiring experience first? 30 years ago you left college applied for a job and it was understood that your grades and dedication proved trainable. Today, you can even be trained but it has to be percisely what the position requires in the exact same way or they are not interested.

    Again, 100% accurate. The overwhelming majority of "entry level" positions won't even look at your resume if you don't have 3-5 years of experience doing the EXACT things listed on the job posting - nevermind that some of them may include specialized software that only someone who's previously held the position would have ever used, you MUST know how to use it for an entry level job.

    Doing something for X long doesn't make you good at the job. Someone with the right smarts and work ethic does. HR needs to change their ways

    That's why I told a friend the other day that eventually I want to be a hiring manager - because so many of them do it wrong, I want to show people how to do things right.

  • Re:Seattle as well. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:18AM (#39641399)

    They can't look through your mail or search your photos in your house as part of a background check--so why should they be able to do the exact same thing online?

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.