Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Password Protection Act: Bans Bosses Asking For Facebook Passwords

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the get-your-hands-off-my-friends-list dept.

Facebook 247

An anonymous reader writes "On the heels of a similar bill introduced last month. A group of Democrats today introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to prevent employers from forcing employers and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts. In other words, Maryland may soon not be the only state that has banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones."

cancel ×

247 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

And now.. (5, Insightful)

Severus Snape (2376318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948357)

They'll demand you add them as a friend!

Re:And now.. (4, Informative)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948791)

That would be covered under

Prohibits an employer from forcing prospective or current employees to provide access to their own private account as a condition of employment.

Re:And now.. (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948795)

what you will, and then restrict them to see only the safe content.

It's a bitch, but can be done.

Easier on Google+, however.

Re:And now.. (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948801)

So? I'll add them and won't give them access to see anything.

Re:And now.. (2, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949163)

Pretty hard to do considering I don't have a Facebook account. If they want to make having a social media presence a condition of employment, I guess that's just not the job for me...

I seriously don't understand why people even admit to having one to a prospective employer in the first place. Kids, just say no! Worst case scenario, you don't get a job offer at a place that you probably wouldn't want to work at anyway.

Let's not pretend, though, that something like this is going to modify employer behavior in any way. I know people in HR that have using Facebook as an unofficial reference on potential applicants since not long after it was open to non-edu accounts. Proving this in court, especially in a discrimination case, is a pipe-dream. No lawyer would take the case in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good thing to have actual regulations on the books if it helps the .000001% of cases that actually get brought to trial. I'm just too realistic to see this as any sort of panacea at all.

10 Amendment (4, Insightful)

misfit815 (875442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948373)

How is this the domain of the United States Congress?

Re:10 Amendment (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948437)

It's an election year.

Re:10 Amendment (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948451)

Business practices that seem to want to coerce people to provide information they normally would not do for their job, or to actively violate laws (e.g., federal laws that prohibit, at least in letter, sharing of passwords for online resources) in order to interview for a job, things like that? You know, laws that the Congress passed in the first place?

Shouldn't take too much lobbying by US Chamber of Commerce, et al, to make sure this bill doesn't even make it out of committee or otherwise dies a quiet procedural death. But, because it's sponsored by (D)'s, even if it did make it to the floors, it's going to be voted down just because.

Doesn't matter. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948627)

You can ALWAYS find an excuse not to hire someone.

Um, I'm sorry Jamal Yosephef green, it's not that you're Black it's ust that you don't have the skills we're looking for.

I'm sorry Mr. Jones, it's not that you're old, it's just you're over-qualified.

I'm sorry Ms. Stacy Jones, you don't have the 10 years of experience in: Java, DB2/2, C#, Objective-C, COBOL, MS-SQL & Oracle, Linux & Windows & OS/2 & OSX & AIX & CICS skills we're looking for.

Unfortunately, there are no Americans who can fill those qualifications but low and behold, there are 10,000 Indian IIT graduates who can. We'll have to move to India.

Yours -

Big American Based IT Services Firm.

Re:Doesn't matter. (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948643)

That's why it is illegal to ask a large number of questions that are not directly relevant to the job; it is an unjustifiable source of potential bias. This law really isn't needed, what we need is a more general one outlining ALL cases to this effect, rather than several laws trying to specific specific things you cannot ask.

Re:Doesn't matter. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948971)

That's why it is illegal to ask a large number of questions that are not directly relevant to the job; it is an unjustifiable source of potential bias. This law really isn't needed, what we need is a more general one outlining ALL cases to this effect, rather than several laws trying to specific specific things you cannot ask.

Blah blah blah ... prove it. Prove it's me and NOT YOUR LACK OF SKILLS OR OTHER QUALIFICATIONS! prove it Asshole! And as an employer I say that you're an Asshole. Sorry, no job, shithead.

Prove that I'm asking too many questions.

AND what IS happening is that because employers are too cautious, they're being REAL picky.

Oopsie, long resume - "over qualified".

Black sounding name - not enough "skills"

Female name - Sorry, no AS/2 experience or 20 years of Python experience. or 20 years of iPad development experience. (In 1996, I interviewed for a job that wanted 3+ years of Java experience and wouldn't take anything less. Do the math.)

Re:Doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949089)

Sorry people don't want to hire you. To me you sound like an asshole so I wouldn't hire you either. Learn to like yourself first and then other might start liking you too.

I have a job asshole. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949177)

Sorry people don't want to hire you. To me you sound like an asshole so I wouldn't hire you either. Learn to like yourself first and then other might start liking you too.

I gotta job - keeping morons like you who don't understand rhetoric out of my fucking organization.

Fucking moron. I bet you think Inglush classes are wurthless 2?!? Huh?!? Dumbass?!?

Commit suicide and save us hiring managers the trouble.

Re:Doesn't matter. (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949333)

Blah blah blah ... prove it. Prove it's me and NOT YOUR LACK OF SKILLS OR OTHER QUALIFICATIONS! prove it Asshole!

Go back, reread your post. With a little luck, you'll see what your problem is.

Re:Doesn't matter. (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949275)

it is illegal to ask a large number of questions that are not directly relevant to the job

False.

Re:Doesn't matter. (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949521)

Wrong you are. Pretty much the only prohibited questions are ones that could lead to a person being discriminated against. A prospective employer cannot ask for any of the following information BEFORE hiring you. After you have been hired you will have to provide some of this information for payroll/tax purposes.

Race
Color
Sex
Sexual Orientation
Religion
National origin
Birthplace
Age
Disability
Marital/family status

Re:10 Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948469)

Interstate commerce

Re:10 Amendment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948477)

Sounds like a clearer case of inter-state commerce than many. Would you prefer there be no law, or a hodge-podge of state laws?

Re:10 Amendment (1)

Oswald (235719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948499)

I suppose it's the catch-all "necessary and proper" thing. Honestly, you're not going to get anywhere with this argument--that ship has sailed. Congress does whatever it wants except when the executive decides just to ignore them or the courts decide to overturn them. One of the worst drawbacks to judicial review is that by relieving Congress of final responsibility for the constitutionality of laws, it promotes an attitude of "pass it, brag to the folks back home about it, and if the Court overturns it, we get to do it all over again."

Re:10 Amendment (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948551)

Congress has been allowed to do more than merely interstate commerce for 220 years. States have not been semi-autonomous regions for 150 years.

Re:10 Amendment (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948559)

Interstate commerce, covered in Article I of the Constitution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Commerce_Clause [wikipedia.org] . The websites in question are large sprawling entities like Facebook which have people in all states and have offices in multiple states. Once that's a common setup, regulation is almost certainly Constitutional. And even when websites are all in one state, packets and the like go very far afield. There might be an argument that they can't regulate an in-state employer wanting a password from a completely in-state website, but that case is both unlikely to come up, and even if it did, courts would likely consider that to be a a weak argument.

Re:10 Amendment (1)

misfit815 (875442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949495)

Regulating commerce is not the same as regulating the entire commercial entity. Of course, that's not the road we've been going down for a very long time. It's much easier to consolidate power in Washington where the lobbyists have a one-stop shop. On the other hand, actually respecting the 10th Amendment would require an informed and intelligent electorate, so I guess my point is moot.

Re:10 Amendment (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949127)

interstate commerce, the same way the federal government has laws against computer fraud and abuse

Re:10 Amendment (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949473)

Because pretty much every one in the US who uses Facebook does not live in the same state the servers are located in, and even if they do it is still very possible that the connection crosses state lines before getting back to the server. That means that this is more of an interstate commerce issue. This also isn't a "States Rights" issue, hence the 10th Amendment does not apply.

Re:10 Amendment (1)

AvderTheTerrible (1960234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949699)

Given the widespread, nationwide abuse of this practice by employers, I believe this might actually be a justifiable use of the ol' "Necessary and Proper" clause.

Way to go, guys! (1)

ultranaut (727657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948403)

Introducing bills to fix problems they think they might have seen a thing about, somewhere...

And you're in (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948409)

Now if only Congress would extend the same protection to bodily fluids and samples. No more urine, hair, and saliva tests.

Re:And you're in (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948785)

Simple solution: modify your facebook password to match a section of your DNA. Then asking for any of those things would require you to surrender your facebook password.

Re:And you're in (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949469)

That's just dumb. The only way you could use that argument is by TELLING them your password is part of you DNA sequence, in which case you've already serendered a portion of your password.

They must be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948413)

americans.

Re:They must be... (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948571)

They must be.... americans.

1) Americans is always capitalized.
2) Congress Critters are not Americans, at least not in spirit or action.
3) I take that as a compliment. Taking action and creating laws to protect somebody's privacy is always a good thing. Neither governments or corporations should have access to private information that has nothing to do with job, not performed while on the job, or performed on equipment or services not provided for by the corporation.

Security and background checks for some jobs might require a little more... but how many Americans actually work in jobs that are that regulated and require security clearances? Not that many.

This is why I am a staunch advocate of giving separate Internet access at work for employees and having a very well spelled out policy that nothing personal is ever performed on corporate equipment, ever. Nothing corporate ever makes it to personal equipment either. Violation can result in punitive actions all the way up to dismissal. When they are on break and in the break room, feel free to use their smartphones or tablets connected up to the public wi-fi and do whatever they want.

Strict segregation works perfectly fine and is only a problem for the new "hip" techies that have an idealistic vision of bring-your-own-equipment. Which all that really translates to is your company is too fucking cheap to purchase the required hardware and they let their idealism allow all the users to get abused by management that only sees reduced costs. That's my opinion at least, feel free to flame and mod away.

If corporations are people (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948417)

If corporations are people, these laws probably exist already.

Regardless of laws, the audacity of demanding personal passwords as a condition of employment just boggles my mind.

We're employees hired to do a job and go home. We're not paid to room and board our employer in our underpants.

Re:If corporations are people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948443)

That's nice and all until a company, that isn't a corporation, asks you for your password.

Believe it or not, there are lots of businesses that are not corporations.

Re:If corporations are people (5, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948483)

That's what happens when you have...

1. (Relatively) high unemployment.

2. A government that is pro-business and anti-employee rights for years and years.

3. Companies more and more feeling what an employee does on their personal time is their business because "it might reflect badly on the company".

Re:If corporations are people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948697)

...

4. A population too stupid to make a throw-away account to give the employer, that talks about how much the prospective employee likes cute puppies. Post something to it once a week or so, give it some friends.

Seriously, do we need a law about this? Really? Can people not take just the most tiny bit of responsibility for their own lives, or do we need the nanny state to tell us how to eat and breathe now too?

Throw-away account. It isn't hard.

Re:If corporations are people (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948783)

And then someone rats them out and they get fired for lying about it.

Expecting employees to lie is not a viable workaround, and neither is any other ethically questionable action.

Re:If corporations are people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949119)

It's not ethically questionable nor is it lying. It would still be your facebook account. If they ask for ALL facebook accounts that would be different, at that point you ask them to put it in writing their request and request that they suspend the interview so that you can consult a lawyer.

Re:If corporations are people (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949485)

request that they suspend the interview so that you can consult a lawyer.

You'd probably break the record for fastest mid-interview shit-canning.

Re:If corporations are people (1)

registrations_suck (1075251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948995)

Or no account at all. I have no Facebook, Google, MySpace, FourSquare, Instagram, or other "social media" account. Don't want or need one either. If I want to "share something" with a "friend" I'll just use good ole e-mail.

Re:If corporations are people (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949355)

What about when they ask for Slashdot account info? You may not think you're participating in social media, but you are.

Re:If corporations are people (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949291)

4. A population too stupid to make a throw-away account to give the employer, that talks about how much the prospective employee likes cute puppies. Post something to it once a week or so, give it some friends.

Or, you know, just tell them you don't have an account. Even if you do, what are they going to do? Not hire you? Oh noes!!!

Although, I admit, a throwaway account would be pretty funny if you went completely overboard with it. Plaster it with a metric shit-ton of Christian imagery and talk about how much you love Jesus, church, and capitalism. That's sure to impress most any major employer in the U.S..

Re:If corporations are people (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949507)

Lying about ANYTHING on your resume or during an interview is immediate grounds for dismissal. If you feel comfortable working at a company that could fire you the instant they google your name, then go ahead.

Re:If corporations are people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949729)

2. A government that is pro-business and anti-employee rights for years and years.

Wasn't the employer that asked for facebook passwords a government agency? Were there any actual private businesses asking for them?

Re:If corporations are people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948651)

If you did room and board with your employer, you wouldn't need a car. That would be so much more eco-freindly for the Environment, just like the china people [cubiclebot.com] .

Employers must be required to provide on site room and board for all employees!

No, they don't (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948979)

Nothing stops me from demanding you give me your Facebook password. If you refuse, I can then refuse to provide you with whatever I feel like, such as access to my house, help with things you might need and so on. I can make it a prerequisite that to be my friend in real life, you give me your Facebook password.

Now of course if I do that, all that will happen is I have no friends. Being that as individuals we are on a relatively equal power footing we can work it out between ourselves.

What is happening is the government is saying that companies have an unequal power balance in this equation, and thus this is something they can't demand.

Remember it isn't as though companies are abducting people off the streets at gunpoint and forcing them to hand over their password, that would be illegal for a company or a person to do.

What they are doing is saying "You wanna work here? Then you have to hand over the password." If you refuse, they won't hire you. That would be the same as me saying "You wanna come in for movie night? Then you have to hand over your password." If you refuse, I tell you to go home, you can't come and watch movies with the rest of us.

Right now, both are legal. If this passes, the company won't be able to make the demand, though I still can. The reason is that if I pulled that shit with movie night, it wouldn't matter, nobody would come, I'd watch alone and that is that. However a job is more important, it isn't movie night, so employers aren't going to be allowed to play that game.

Re:No, they don't (-1, Flamebait)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949165)

If there really was a balance, wha you said would make sense... but then the reality of the imbalance, the power that employers weild over those desparate for income in a world biased to benefit that employer, is blatant... and then your libertarian fantasy falls apart.

Give the people as many companies to apply to, as there are job-seekers in their field, and maybe we can feel empowered enough to say no. Reality says "I need health insurancec, and the only company hiring is that oligopoly partner."

Really? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948419)

Did this actually happen, or is it a modern urban legend that employers were requiring passwords? And if it really happened, aren't there existing privacy laws in place that could have been used to sue these businesses out of existence?

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948449)

Yes, it actually happened [zdnet.com]

No, it's not. See above

Unfortunately not yet. But there could be soon.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948855)

Most people's Facebook status includes their Marital Status, Religion, etc., several things that are not allowed to be asked in of a prospective employee. So I would think somebody could have gotten them on that.

Re:Really? (1)

registrations_suck (1075251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949023)

You can ask these sorts of questions. The law does not prohibit asking. It prohibits using the information in making a hiring decision. Because it is VERY difficult to support the claim that although you asked about , but did not factor that into your decision-making, smart employers have a POLICY against asking such things - but it's not illegal.

Re:Really? (1)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949235)

You can ask these sorts of questions. The law does not prohibit asking. It prohibits using the information in making a hiring decision. Because it is VERY difficult to support the claim that although you asked about , but did not factor that into your decision-making, smart employers have a POLICY against asking such things - but it's not illegal.

IANAL, but as far as I know, although many of these "sorts" of questions are not strictly prohibited, there is a specific prohibition against asking any pre-employment questions about any disability (including pregnacy) including the nature of any obvious disabilitly unless it is essential to the qualifications of the job (aka BFOQ or bona fide occupational qualification) that cannot be accommodated. This exception was carved out by the American with Disabilities Act and made any of these types of questions illegal. The other types of potentially discrimantory questions are certainly unadvised to ask as well even if not illegal. Of course take this advice (as any other advice) with a grain of salt as you heard it on the internet.

Re:Really? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949515)

In Canada it's actually illegal to even ask. Trust me, I checked after being told I was no longer getting the position because somebody higher up found out a family member also works there.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948919)

Hold on. The article in TFL was about an employer going after an employee who allegedly posted an obnoxious photo of a co-worker on her Facebook account. Most of the comments are about employers asking for passwords as a matter of course. Citation still needed.

why another bill? (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948463)

So the summary notes there was already a similar bill. What happened to that? What's different/better/more-likely -to-get-passed about this one?

Re:why another bill? (3, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948649)

That happens a lot - similar bills are introduced, debated in committee, etc. Some are better than others, and if the process isn't completely broken (not even going there...) the various ideas get consolidated into something that meets everyone's needs and is then introduced to the floor.

In this case, it seems like a law protecting any of your password-protected/private information (email, photo sharing, online backups, whatever) would be much more powerful than the previous one that focused mostly on your "social networking" accounts...

Re:why another bill? (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948755)

What's different is it was reworded to try and avoid another GOP obstruction-- or at least sneak in under the radar.

Is it a typo, or just leaving huge loophole open? (1)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948481)

prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee...

So, they are trying to prevent employers from asking for my Facebook/Gmail/etc. password, because it's there in the magical "cloud" and not owned/controlled by me; but it is totally OK for my employer to insist on having a password to my *home* computer, just because it is owned and controlled by me??? Which, by the way, likely has a cookie to authorize accessing my identity "out there"... Or should I say that it's actually my wife's computer?

Or my reading comprehension is really bad today, unlikely though!

Paul B.

Re:Is it a typo, or just leaving huge loophole ope (3, Interesting)

Script_God (803563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948517)

As an applicant, you are not yet an employee. If they want to demand that I give them that information after I am an employee, and I refuse, I would not be surprised if there can be a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Re:Is it a typo, or just leaving huge loophole ope (3, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948631)

Yeah, it didn't make sense. After reading the article, it was clearly a typo, and should have said "from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employer". Ie. employers can still demand you hand over passwords on *their* systems, which seems reasonable enough.

Re:Is it a typo, or just leaving huge loophole ope (1)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949295)

Yeah, it didn't make sense. After reading the article, it was clearly a typo, and should have said "from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employer". Ie. employers can still demand you hand over passwords on *their* systems, which seems reasonable enough.

Of course that means you might still have a problem if you want to work for a social networking company that you actually use... Of course said company already has your data, but if you are part of the 99% that uses the same password everywhere, you are kinda screwed if you actually hand over your password.

Re:Is it a typo, or just leaving huge loophole ope (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949563)

Seeing as they screwed up the employee/employer thing farther up as well, that makes sense.

Summary Confusion (3, Informative)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948489)

The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones.

I assume the summary meant to say that the act prevents employers from accessing information on any computer that is owned or controlled by an employee.

Re:Summary Confusion (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948609)

Actually, with the wording as it is in the summary it COULD be better.

With the summary wording it means no prospective employer could do a background / credit / social network check because all of that information is on computers that the employee does NOT own.

And if anyone wants to look on my personal PC they are just going to see random crap, my landscape photos I take, and tons of encryption everywhere.... so good luck to them on finding anything other than my tinfoil hat.

Re:Summary Confusion (3, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948665)

Actually, from TFA it sounds like they meant to say it prevents employers from accessing personal information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employer. I'm pretty sure the intent is that an employer should still be able to access and demand passwords to servers it owns, even if the employee runs them, etc, and anything else is none of their business.

Re:Summary Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949223)

It should be worded so that no one may ask for ID/password on computers owned by others (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as well as computers owned but the applicant (iPad, iPhone, notebook or desktop computers, etc.). No employer has a legitimate right to access my online content, nor do they have a right to anything on my private computers or other devices.

Game it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948495)

Isn't it better to game the system by creating a fake facebook page which you salt with glowing comments about the prospect of working in some company, industry, whatever? maybe salt with other fake postings demonstrating your intelligence, etc.? I dunno....the constant stream of news about police brutality, unjust situations, erosion of rights, destruction of the economy, etc., etc. has left me hopeless, with only the prospect of gaming the system instead of fighting it.

Re:Game it (3, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948687)

the constant stream of news about police brutality, unjust situations, erosion of rights, destruction of the economy, etc., etc. has left me hopeless, with only the prospect of gaming the system instead of fighting it.

Not me. These things have made me start looking for jobs outside the USA.

Here's an idea (1)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948573)

Just don't use social media and you won't have to hide from your employer... Or.. Gasp... Be careful and keep it safe for work at all times.

One really should not put anything online that you would not want EVERYBODY to be able to read. Everything you put online, pictures, comments, blogs, chats etc. is going to be public information forever, or at least it CAN end up out living you. Remember that every time you are tempted to post.

Here's a better idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948603)

Companies (and you) can go and fuck right off. None of you have any business dictating what I can and cannot do in my personal life.

Re:Here's a better idea (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948727)

just dont go crying when they see that picture of you smoking a blunt

Re:Here's a better idea (2)

The1stImmortal (1990110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949029)

If you're posting evidence of yourself committing a criminal act online then you've got bigger issues than what your employer thinks about it...
(Note - No judgement here on whether this particular act should be illegal or not, just that it currently is)

Re:Here's a better idea (0)

registrations_suck (1075251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949045)

You can do whatever you want. But companies are also free to make decisions about you concerning what you do in your personal life - as well they should. Frankly, there are entire classes of people I don't want working for me, with me or near me. You're free to make your decisions - I'm free to make mine.

Re:Here's a better idea (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949493)

"You're free to make your decisions - I'm free to make mine."

No, you're not. Not if it is illegal to do so, which is what this law is about. I consider it simply a question of this: do they do the job? If they do, then shut the fuck up. If they do not, you have no need for other reasons to not hire/fire them. That means you have no right to decide what they do in their personal lives just because they work for you some of the time. But I suppose it is easy to believe you do when YOU are not the one who is being scrutinized by someone with the power to rip away your livelihood if you do or say something potentially objectionable. I don't consider that freedom and I doubt any sane person would, either.

Re:Here's an idea (5, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948721)

"Just don't use social media and you won't have to hide from your employer"

And when you tell them this, they believe you are lying and don't hire you. Or hell, consider that a personality flaw and don't hire you for being anti-social.

"Or.. Gasp... Be careful and keep it safe for work at all times. "

Because living in fear is exactly what we should all aspire to, right?

"One really should not put anything online that you would not want EVERYBODY to be able to read."

Bit of a difference between, say, posting on a blog, and being pressed into giving someone else a password to your private accounts. Would you be against letting them scan your hard drive for anything they might find objectionable? After all, what's the difference? Your computer is connected to the internet.

"Everything you put online, pictures, comments, blogs, chats etc. is going to be public information forever, or at least it CAN end up out living you. Remember that every time you are tempted to post."

Does that apply to spineless pro-corporate shilling on slashdot?


I kind of see this all as a non-issue. In some ways the loss of privacy is a bad thing... in other ways it is good. We didn't see much motion in the gay rights movement until people started to come out. I think the same is going to start to happen in other parts of society - the petty prejudices aren't going to hold up so well in an age where everyone is more open. Not to say I am for invasions of privacy, but it is going to happen, and it isn't all bad. I also can see being closed off as becoming something itself considered undesirable and I think rightly so.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949171)

All of tha only matters if you believe there is some "private" area on Facebook. Since there really isn't, your rant is sort of irrelevent. Now, when it comes to some email I sent 10 years ago, that's where I wish we had stronger privacy protection.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949251)

If that's true, why do they want passwords to begin with? Perhaps from a purely absolute perspective nothing is private, but there are relative levels of it.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949315)

Personally I don't see the point of social media beyond saying "hi" and "how are you" so I participate, but I DON'T post the kind of stuff I've seen some post. (I'm just guessing, but some of them are going to be sorry they posted some of the photos I've seen, but that's beside the point.) It might be a good idea to not post stuff online that might make a future employer think twice about you, just in case it slips out or your account gets hacked or something.

My point was that anything you post, can and some will likely outlive you online, even if you "delete" it or think you are posting it privately. I don't think I'd willingly give up my passwords to an employer either, but I try not to have anything to hide in the first place so it's not a huge issue for me. I'm just guessing here, but if an employer wanted to bad enough, they have enough information to obtain just about anything they want on you, including having somebody impersonate you to get any passwords, account numbers and access to just about all available information on you. All it takes is a lack of scruples, $$ and enough starting information and they are going to have everything anyway.

About my personal laptop? Well... Nothing to hide there, but if they asked the answer would be no.

Problem with all this is that they have to be careful anyway. There are a whole host of questions they simply cannot ask and if their attempts to obtain information like this borders on getting answers to questions they are not allowed to ask. I think the courts would take a very dim view if they somehow seemed to be not hiring folks because of their marital status or some other protected area so I don't think this law is necessary.

This summary gave me a headache. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948597)

Could someone do a rewrite?

The 4th isn't enough? (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948613)

I would have thought the 4th amendment would have covered this, so all I see is grandstanding politicians pretending they care about the people while ignoring their own Constitution.

Re:The 4th isn't enough? (4, Informative)

KiahZero (610862) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948683)

No, the Fourth Amendment only covers state action; it doesn't address searches by third parties (unless they are being used as agents of the state).

The 4th isn't enough! (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948711)

I would have thought the 4th amendment would have covered this

You would have thought wrong, since the 4th Amendment imposes no restrictions on private conduct.

Nice Sentiment (2)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948629)

Of course the reality is that if you really need that job you have pretty much no option but hand over whatever the boss asks for.

Sure, in theory you could refuse, and when you get fired (or not hired in the first place) in theory you could drag them into court, but in practice the vast majority of working folks can't afford to lose the job in the first place, and can't afford the lawyers in the second.

This would be about as effective as most workplace safety laws - sure you can refuse to do dangerous work, but when there are a hundred people lined up who are prepared to climb on a four story roof with no safety harness you'll find yourself unemployed very fast.

Re:Nice Sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948835)

God bless the free market!

Re:Nice Sentiment (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948877)

This is the argument of the coward. Just stay quiet while your rights are violated because its too dangerous to stand up for yourself.

Tell that to the countless workers that fought for their rights, some of whom paid for it with their lives. Are you saying they should not have bothered?

Re:Nice Sentiment (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949199)

If it's just one employer being a dick, you really don't need the government to step in. The problem comes when you have "collusion on terms of employment", which happens far too often: every employer in some industry ends up having the same bullshit. And in that case, as long as whatever regulation affects all companies equally, employers are generally OK with it (since their competition is equally affected).

Re:Nice Sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949203)

... really need that job you have pretty much no option but hand over whatever the boss asks for.

Then, if one doesn't get the job, sue them for discrimination. Since they are not allowed to judge your private associations, like who you email/befriend.

Re:Nice Sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949239)

If it's illegal to do so, the question won't come up, sparing applicants from a very difficult dilemma.

Block Everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948677)

This law will force employers to block all external access, except to business partner websites, since, as written, proxy servers cannot be used. How else will they be able to protect their network if they can't run proxies to filter viruses, spyware and other undesired things.

Sounds like a good idea for most companies, but my job would really suck.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948869)

Do not indulge in social networks?
Or could it be seen as a mild form of sociopathy and prevent you from getting a job, or even get you fired?
For not having a Facebook account :-)

I banned them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948939)

When I had a Facebook account I systematically blocked all the people who I had to work with. When I moved to an other department/company/project I unblocked them (did it with friends and no friends alike).

I do not think work and social networking belong together at all. I honestly think Facebook should be banned at all workplaces, but before I judge: I allow my programmers/dbas to use it freely in my department. I would however be happy to see it gone from work hours altogether, with Twitter and all the time-killing crap people should be using in their free time. As for me: I closed my account because when you have it you will use it. And yes, I live abroad with all my friends left home. When I care I contact them, but daily crap about nothing is just .. ahm .... a waste of time for me.

On TFA and issue: it does not fit into my head. Your account, your private info, the companies should fuck off and get out of your private life. But it should go both ways: if you wan this, you should never-ever-ever log into your Facebook or Twitter or MySpace from the company computer. Either way, if you do, they can catch your pass 999 ways (security camera, keycatcher, sniffer (non-SSL logins) and you actually deserve it.

Re:I banned them all (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949041)

Breaking and entering, in the case of them snarfing your password, is something the FBI loves to prosecute. Contact your friendly FBI today, and ask about our two for one special.

But I want them to ask! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39949055)

That way I don't even have to finish the interview; I can just get up and walk out.

Why dont they (1)

flytripper (2540266) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949107)

Just ask us to bend over while they lube up a finger?

Pardon me but... (1)

lophophore (4087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949135)

Pardon me, but...

Don't they have something better to do?

This is like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns.

Re:Pardon me but... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949367)

Don't they have something better to do?

You realize that our elected officials in D.C. are capable of dealing with more than one issue at a time? There are probably many 1000's of bill that get written, debated on, tabled and passed every year.

Wait just a second here... (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949449)

"The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones."

Well, that's all well and good, but what about computers that ARE owned by the employee, such as their personally-owned laptop, home computer, or personal smart phone? Does the act also prevent an employer requiring access to those?

Seems to be a glaring omission to me...

Overbearing government intrusion! (2)

truavatar (2463178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949457)

This sounds like overbearing government intrusion into the private market to me. Employers should be free to demand whatever they want as a condition of employment, from high-school transcripts to semen samples! If you don't like it, find another place to work!

Wait a sec (3, Insightful)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949557)

The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones."

Shouldn't that be isn't owned or controlled by the employer or company instead? An employee's personal computer (and I'm using personal here to mean one that belongs to the employee) shouldn't be accessed by the employer either.

Technically already a felony? (2)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949717)

If you log into my friend's account and you're not my friend, you now have access to information in my profile that I did not give you permission to.

Facebook's ToS explicitly prohibits doing this.

Violating a website's ToS in order to gain access to information you don't have permission to access is, I think, some sort of federal crime.

Any lawyers care to chime in on this one?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>