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The Internet Privacy Technology

New Illinois Law Protecting Social Media Rights In the Workplace 147

sl4shd0rk writes "Illinois (USA) Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law this week protecting employees' privacy rights concerning social media. Bill 3782 makes it illegal for an employer to request an employee's or job candidate's social network login credentials, in order to gain access to their account or profile. 'Members of the workforce should not be punished for information their employers don't legally have the right to have,' Governor Quinn said. 'As use of social media continues to expand, this new law will protect workers and their right to personal privacy.'"
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New Illinois Law Protecting Social Media Rights In the Workplace

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  • Sensibility (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Schmorgluck ( 1293264 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:46AM (#40856087)
    Some sensibility in lawmaking. That's refreshing.
  • Re:Wait. What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:50AM (#40856149)

    This doesn't make sense at all. They can't ask for credentials? So they will ask to be "friended" or "circled" just to get an interview. Sucks for me, since I don't have a Facebook account and will be excluded as if I am hiding something...

  • Re:Wait. What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:53AM (#40856175) Journal

    Actually, it doesn't make sense.

    If an employer wants my Facebook Password, it is really simple, "NO". I don't need a law to protect me.

    And in fact, should anyone ever ask for my password, I'd start passing that info on to the social networking sites as a warning to others. We don't need government creating idiotic laws that will last well beyond the technology's life span.

    If everyone acted the same way, with the same level of outrage, the problem would go away on its own. We don't need government to fix stupidity, we just need an educated public.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:56AM (#40856205) Journal

    I would argue that their right to personal privacy is given up when they decide to broadcast information on a public international communications network.
    Social networks is the worlds largest experiment in removing the safety labels on devices.

    my 2c.

    If the information were publicly broadcast, I wouldn't need to ask you for your credentials in order to access it, would I? Unless I'm much mistaken, the bill doesn't protect you from being axed for those public pictures of you sucking a skull bong(which can be accessed without login, or with an arbitrary set of credentials), it just prevents me from demanding your access credentials.

  • Re:Sensibility (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sohmc ( 595388 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:57AM (#40856215) Journal
    Are/Were companies doing this because it's cheaper than running a background check?

    Additionally, sharing your Facebook password is against the TOS [] (Section 4, subsection 8). You can tell an employer/prospective employer that you will reveal your credentials if they assume the legal responsibility for breaching the contract.

    That should get them off your back. Whether you get hired/fired, that's an entirely different matter.
  • by Stirling Newberry ( 848268 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:58AM (#40856231) Homepage Journal
    So you are ok with them asking for your email password? After all, you give up privacy when you send all those bits across the internet right?
  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:59AM (#40856261) Homepage Journal

    When you have so many job seekers and a real unemployment up in the 12-15% range employers start to think a bunch of new things are acceptable!

    This is just one of them. Another is having an unwritten policy that they won't hire anyone that is unemployed. Another is an unspoken policy that they'll make job descriptions so tight they can use H1-B visa holders. The list goes on and on.

  • Re:Wait. What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:05AM (#40856335) Journal

    There is arguably a difference between 'doesn't make sense' and 'will be relatively easy to evade'.

    Most worker protection legislation suffers from the basic problem that there are just so many innocent-sounding reasons to get rid of someone for reasons wholly unrelated to any legally protected trait.

    Whistleblowers, assorted wage/salary/time-worked accounting shenanigans, occupational hazards, harassment, and virtually anything else all fall into that category.

    Trouble is, unless you've got a bold plan to achieve an enormous restructuring of the economy (at least to the point where the labor market is a seller's market, perhaps even to the point where most people aren't 'employees'(and no, the 'oh, he's an "independent contractor" because those are cheaper than employees, he just resembles an employee in all other ways'/permatemp doesn't count)), the condition of employees in your economy will be one of the greatest determinants of the welfare(and even the day-to-day freedom) of most of the population.

    That makes ignoring the problem a bit... unpalatable.

  • Re:Wait. What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:09AM (#40856393)
    And what about in a state like where I live, NC? Employeer "I want your facebook information" me "no" Employeer "ok you are fired" me "doh!" a lot of states are right to work states where they can fire you for nothing if they so chose to. Even if not they can find something to fire you for in no right to work states.
  • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:33AM (#40856677)
    If in an interview I am ever asked to friend a potential employer or give out my login credentials, I will politely say, "Thank you very much for your time and consideration but I am no longer interested in employment with your company." On one hand, I like the idea of making this illegal. On the other, I think it would be stronger to let market forces end this practice. If enough people simply stand up and walk out when asked to cough up their facebook information, the practice would stop immediately because the company would be unable to hire anyone. If the work force were more united and less divided, market forces could dictate more workplace friendly policies. However, because Americans live in such abject fear, most are likely to just aquiesce so we need a law to provide a security blanket for the fearful.
  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:42AM (#40856801)

    If you are out of work, really need a job, and an employer is making an unreasonable (but still legal) demand, you are in a rather unequal bargaining position. It's all well and good to stick up for yourself if you have the luxury of turning down a new job or aborting a promising interview, but not everyone is in that position. The law levels the playing field by prohibiting employers from even asking for something they have no business getting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @12:01PM (#40857003)
    It's this food addiction I have. Terrible, I know, but I haven't been able to shake it.
  • Re:Wait. What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by s73v3r ( 963317 ) <> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:15PM (#40858069)

    I hope that thought gives you comfort while you're starving in a gutter.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen