It was recently reported that a number of employers in the United States would only accept a potential new worker if they were willing to hand over their Facebook account details including password – allowing the employer access to personal content, private messages, if they deemed the action was required. This, of course, caused considerable uproar amongst the online social networking community who slammed the idea as a conflict of privacy and since this plan was first mentioned counter-actions groups have risen in protest.
A new act named SNOPA – The Social Networking Online Protection Act – has now been introduced to U.S Congress and if passed will prevent companies from requesting private information relating to the social web and snooping into the personal lives of future staffers before even offering them the job. The request for these private details are also said to be affecting applying students for colleges and universities, a pretty unreasonable demand on youngsters who quite often use the social site to share photos of their drunken weekend antics.
The State of Maryland has already been able to get the act made into a law, meaning no employer or educational institute will be able to request social site details and California and Illinois are believe to be close to passing similar legislation.
Fortunately here in the U.K nothing like this has been spoken out loud, but with a lot of our lives now being spent on the social networking sites, we don’t think it’ll be too long before the issue is raised over here. Just like in the States, we certainly think it would be quickly opposed.