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New Illinois Law Protecting Social Media Rights In the Workplace

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the get-drunk-post-incriminating-pictures-online dept.

The Internet 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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Wait. What? (5, Funny)

SDuensin (67959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856073)

Illinois did something that makes sense? WTF?

Re:Wait. What? (5, Insightful)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856335)

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? (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856175)

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.

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856183)

> we just need an educated public.

Mod parent funny.

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856211)

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.

In Illinois?!?!?!

Re:Wait. What? (1)

aitikin (909209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856577)

Nothing like saying the most corrupt state in the country is uneducated. They know which side the bread is buttered on...

Re:Wait. What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857235)

If you think Illinois is corrupt, you should check Oklahoma and Texas.

Re:Wait. What? (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857555)

Neither Oklahoma nor Texas has recently had a governor arrested, prosecuted, and found guilty of felony misdemeanors. That's not to say that those states don't have corruption problems, but we can make a damned convincing argument that Illinois might be the most corrupt state.

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857757)

I blame Chicago.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858021)

It really does depend on what those charges are. In the case you're talking about, they were corruption charges. But there are a number of felony misdemeanors, or any felonies for that matter, which wouldn't really show corruption. A governor getting arrested for a DUI, for example, would probably show that said governor is an idiot, but not necessarily that they are corrupt. If anything, I'd almost say that their conviction on that charge might prove the opposite.

Re:Wait. What? (5, Funny)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856217)

Always funny with a post and it's sig contradict each other.

Re:Wait. What? (5, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Wait. What? (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856851)

Going on Twitter or Facebook and marketing "I was fired for not giving my Facebook Password" would create enough backlash that the company would lose in the end. Just like it actually happened. Then you could sue, because even in "right to work" states, there are laws protecting workers.

And why would you want to work for such a company in the first place?

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856983)

Hilarious. The "backlash" would amount to a tempest in a teapot. NOTHING would happen, except you would be out a job. What fantasy world do you live in where an offhand "tweet" from some twat is going to get a company to change their policy?

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857589)

Your point? You'd be out of a job? Poor chump - if you cave in to illegal and unethical demands from your "employer", then you don't have a "job". You're a fucking SLAVE, idiot!

Re:Wait. What? (3, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858069)

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

Re:Wait. What? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858061)

Whatever he's smoking, it's making him very optimistic. I would love to be so blissfully happy.

Re:Wait. What? (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858057)

Going on Twitter or Facebook and marketing "I was fired for not giving my Facebook Password" would create enough backlash that the company would lose in the end

Unlikely. That doesn't mean that the person shouldn't spam every news outlet and social media site with the info, I just don't think it would have the effect you believe it would.

And why would you want to work for such a company in the first place?

I'm going to assume he enjoys paying rent and eating food. Not everyone has the perfect job mobility you apparently do, and some people really do have to tough out very shitty jobs for a while. This is just a measure to cut down on the abuse and make those jobs a little less shitty.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858227)

Then you could sue, because even in "right to work" states, there are laws protecting workers.

There are not yet laws protecting workers from their employers requiring their login for social media. That is why they are proposing this law in Illinois. To create those protections. Which, from your previous posts, you seem to indicate you are opposed to (or think is unnecessary?). I am a little confused about what your position actually is.

Re:Wait. What? (2)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857071)

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. Sounds like you were fired for cause, and an unjustified cause at that. I'd hire a lawyer. They can't fire you for refusing to break the Facebook's Terms of Service.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858107)

1). Where does an unemployed person find the money for a lawyer?

2). In just about every "Right to Work" state there is, the employer does not actually have to state the reason why they are firing you. Leaving the burden completely on you to prove that the fired you because of not handing over the FB password. And likely they will have something else stored away for just such an occasion, like a violation of the "Network Acceptable Use Policy" (He browsed Slashdot at work!).

Re:Wait. What? (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856413)

They can create this law, but they won't create a law to prevent your employer from asking for your bank and investment accounts (SEC regulation). The Federal government will usurp this law under the guise of terrorism prevention.

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856465)

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

Good luck with that.

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.

Look at all the people who will care! QUICKLY OR YOU WILL MISS THEM.

We don't need government creating idiotic laws...

This is far from an idiotic law; in fact, this is one of the few types of legislation the government should be passing.

... that will last well beyond the technology's life span.

You get points for that, at least - unfortunately, politicians are generally idiots when it comes to technology. Witness how prefixing anything with i- or e- means new laws, new patents, etc.

If everyone acted the same way, with the same level of outrage, the problem would go away on its own.

Oh, certainly, that's the perfect solution. And it's entirely possible. It's not like civilization evolved politicians and governments because people inherently have differing opinions or anything.

We don't need government to fix stupidity, we just need an educated public.

Tell me, are your Facebook posts about midget crossdressers you love making you more educated than Suzie Q. Boringasfuck?

Signs point to no. Educated, oh lord. That word doesn't mean 'people who agree with me to my advantage' like you seem to think it does.

See you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856535)

Of course without protection they can just fire you on the spot.

Or they could wait a few days and simply downsize, eliminate your position, or get rid of you for some other reason. There's no such thing as a perfect employee, and they can always get rid of you for some reason, even just a I don't think things are working out here, see you.

Re:Wait. What? (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856565)

We don't need government to fix stupidity, we just need an educated public.

There's this thing called a legislature. People elect other people to go and make laws in the legislature. It makes it easier for people to get things done so they don't have to organize a concerted show of outrage towards companies. Instead they argue the merits of such a law and the elected persons make it so.

Re:Wait. What? (0, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856861)

The worst form of tyranny are from those that say "There ought to be a law".

Re:Wait. What? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857189)

No the worst from a tyranny is when you don't have the freedom to even do that.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858123)

No, not even close.

I do computer security work (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856605)

If I asked somebody for their Facebook password in a job interview, and they gave it to me, that would tell me that they don't have enough clue to be worth hiring :-)

Asking for their Facebook user name is different - There are jobs for which it may make sense to see what somebody's public profile looks like (as opposed to what they're showing their friends.) There are HR people who there who would also want to look at who their friends are, which is getting into creepy, of course. And there are jobs that want to see your Klout score, for which xkcd has already covered the topic. [xkcd.com] .

Re:I do computer security work (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858125)

If I asked somebody for their Facebook password in a job interview, and they gave it to me, that would tell me that they don't have enough clue to be worth hiring :-)

If you are out of work for almost 2 years, and you're insanely desperate for any kind of paycheck, you'd do almost whatever they'd ask to try and get a job. And people like you would look down on them for this.

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856777)

Meanwhile the education department doesn't even have money to pay teachers! Get your head out of your ass please!

And if you REALLY need the job? (5, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:And if you REALLY need the job? (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856879)

Why would you want to work for such a place? Under any conditions? It is just asking for more heartache and headaches in the future.

Re:And if you REALLY need the job? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857003)

It's this food addiction I have. Terrible, I know, but I haven't been able to shake it.

Re:And if you REALLY need the job? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858149)

Why would you want to work for such a place?

Probably because they like paying rent and eating rather than starving in a gutter.

It is just asking for more heartache and headaches in the future.

Not nearly as much as one where you don't have a place to live or food in your belly.

Get it through your fucking head: NOT EVERYONE HAS THE ABILITY TO TURN DOWN JOBS. Should these people simply be fucked over like this, just because they can?

Re:Wait. What? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856925)

I don't need a law to protect me

If the company can refuse to hire you because you refused to provide a password, even if they are violating the Facebook TOS, and if there is no legal recourse against that company for how they are behaving then yes, you need the law to clarify its position (which is more what this is).

Worse still is if governments have ruled through various agencies that they *can* ask for your passwords legally - which they probably cannot, and this clarifies that they aren't allowed to do that. Keep in mind that laws will be written to say blandly generally things like 'the police force should use all due diligence to ensure only reputable people are hired', so then some civil servants in an agency will try and interpret 'due diligence' and 'reputable' every year, and s/he doesn't want to get fired for not doing enough diligence.

The law isn't in this to protect the data on your facebook account, which is what you're talking about being able to protect yourself. It's about first protecting you from discrimination for refusing to do something stupid (and potentially illegal), and secondly it's protecting the government (and companies) from being on the losing side of a lawsuit for doing something they shouldn't have been doing.

Governments frequently grapple with the question of what employees are to do if they're given instructions they don't think are lawful or within the terms of their contract. This isn't just 'don't torture people because the vice president said it was ok', it's things protecting employees who demand gloves and sweaters when they work in freezers, or when laws are very very complicated, or overlapping or the like, and who trumps who and so on. You as a prospective employee need to be protected from being punished just because you're following contracts you signed, which was that you wouldn't give up your facebook password when you agreed to facebooks TOS.

If everyone acted the same way, with the same level of outrage, the problem would go away on its own.

No. It could very well go the other direction. If the bureaucracy makes a rule, and no one successfully challenges it (and remember, they might actually be authorized to demand your password if the law granting them authority was unintentionally over reaching) then you need to make new laws. Otherwise demanding your social networking passwords could easily become routinely allowed.

Re:Wait. What? (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857097)

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

What if you need the job? And what if the employer next door wants your password too?

Re:Wait. What? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857149)

Which is why no jobs ever drug test, right?

I say no now, but I know if I ever end up hungry I too will take a wizzquiz.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857185)

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.

Prior to this law, you could be fired for giving that answer in Illinois.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857511)

The problem is, no one has any balls today. People have been brainwashed into believing that "there should be a law". Hence - we have a myriad of nonsense laws to "protect" us. Strange how all those laws designed to "protect" us can be used to hammer us senseless when we come to the attention of law enforcement officials.

Yes, I'm all for an educated public. Unfortunately, the departments of education around the country are largely responsible for the brainwashed condition of the masses.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858183)

No, the problem is that employees have very little bargaining power compared to employers today, and that many of them still like to eat.

I hope the idea that you still "have balls" would provide you comfort when you're unable to find a job.

Re:Wait. What? (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857967)

YOU might not. Recognize that not everyone has the same position you do, and there are people who are very desperate for a job.

But I forgot, that infringes on your ideals of "Fuck them, I've got mine."

Re:Wait. What? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858023)

"we just need an educated public" - Why not just ask for a utopia?

There will always be a sucker willing to give up their FB info, who is "good enough" to fill a position that you want.

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856245)

Actually it makes perfect sense.

Illinois is the spawn of corruption. Corruption uses social media. Corruption likes to hide.

You see the connection now? The most corrupt state in the union was the first to sign more privacy laws when it comes to social media. That doesn't set off any bells or alarms in your head does it?

Re:Wait. What? (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856405)

Politicians protecting themselves from investigation. The legislators likely doesn't want the state to ever ask for their facebook credentials.

Re:Wait. What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856523)

They have precedent [ilga.gov] for such protections.

Re:Wait. What? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856811)

>> Illinois did something that makes sense?

The legislature is like the monkeys with the typewriters...

Re:Wait. What? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856979)

Like the Chicago Cubs say, "you can't lose 'em all." Actually, I've found Illinois politicians actually listen to their constituents (some are better than others, of course) and the constituent doesn't have to be a campaign contributor, or even in the same party (which party's primary you vote in is a matter of public record in Illinois).

As to Illinois doing something that makes sense, do farms make sense? Most of the state is famland. Does subatomic particle physics make sense? Before the LHC, Illinois had the world's biggest atom smasher. Oh, and Lincoln, Reagan, Obama, and Seven of Nine are all from Illinois. Of course, Reagan didn't make much sense, but he had Alzheimer's.

Now, Quinn signing a bill that makes sense, or getting anything at all right, now THAT'S weird! The saddest thing is, he's the best governor we've had so far this century (the previous two are in prison).

Full text of the law (5, Informative)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856085)

Read the full text of the law here [ilga.gov]

At least they cited the bill number. I hate it when news outlets don't tell you the bill and have to go searching for it.

Sensibility (3, Insightful)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856087)

Some sensibility in lawmaking. That's refreshing.

Re:Sensibility (3, Insightful)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856215)

Are/Were companies doing this because it's cheaper than running a background check?

Additionally, sharing your Facebook password is against the TOS [facebook.com] (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.

Re:Sensibility (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856731)

Are/Were companies doing this because it's cheaper than running a background check?

Some companies are doing this because they like to think of themselves as having control over their employees outside of work. It's the same impetus as drug testing: Sure your work performance might be great, but we don't want you if you smoke pot on the weekends or have an account on Fetlife or went to a political protest for a cause the company doesn't agree with.

Re:Sensibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857033)

There's a big difference between drug testing and social networks, though:

people who have detectable traces of illicit drugs in their bloodstream/urine:
1) Are breaking the law by using illegal drugs; (You can certainly argue that it's a stupid law, but at this point, it's the law of the land);
2) Are voluntarily ingesting a substance with demonstrable negative effects on the employee's mental faculties;
3) Are engaging in behavior that is *often* self-destructive and leads to additional sickness, absenteeism, and possibly even crime;

Now you can argue that it's not their business, etc. etc. - but given the choice between someone who does coke recreationally, and someone who does not, who both have equal capabilities, I'm going to choose the guy without a substance habit, because there's less likelihood the "sober" guy is going to spiral out of control and leave my business hanging at the worst possible moment. Drugs actually *do* affect performance, no matter how much you and your stoner friends like to pretend your habit doesn't impair you. Facebook, not so much, as long as you have sensible firewall policies in place.

Re:Sensibility (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857241)

You still have no right to know what he does on his off time.

I do not use drugs, but I will not take such a test. It would let you know way too much about me and my medical state. I will not let you search my house either, which I guess would be another way to see if someone breaks the law.

Re:Sensibility (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858263)

Regarding 2 and 3, there are many LEGAL substances which do the same thing. Alcohol has a demonstrable negative effect on a person's mental faculties. If that was the reason they were drug checking, then why not check for alcohol? I'd imagine it'd be just as common, if not more so, than weed.

I can see not wanting people to be under the influence while at work, and that would be perfectly ok.

"I'm going to choose the guy without a substance habit, because there's less likelihood the "sober" guy is going to spiral out of control and leave my business hanging at the worst possible moment."

Really? So sober guys never develop gambling addictions? Never get hooked on WoW? Never decide to flake off because you treat your employees like shit?

"Drugs actually *do* affect performance, no matter how much you and your stoner friends like to pretend your habit doesn't impair you."

Depends on the drug, and many of them don't have an effect when you're not on them.

Further, I really don't give a shit about your business. You still have no right to anything outside of the workplace regarding your employee.

Re:Sensibility (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857281)

I imagine that drug testing has little to do with work performance than it does liability. If an employee is high or has drugs on company property, it would give the police cause to do a full search. Probably just to the employee's work area, but it's something the company wants to avoid.

IANAL or a LTE, but makes sense to just not hire someone who refuses a drug test than assume the risk and have something happen later on. I imagine this was the same rationale for giving up your social network credentials. The difference being that it's illegal to use controlled substances whereas it's not illegal to be on Facebook.

Re:Sensibility (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857335)

So instead they can use that information to not hire you because they can tell you are diabetic, or have some other medical condition or smoke or drink or do other legal but detectable things.

Drug testing is far more intrusive than asking for a Facebook password. I think both should not be legal, until after something has happened and should be done by a court not your employer.

Re:Sensibility (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856875)

Interviewer: Oh, by the way, we need your Facebook credentials.

Me: I'm sorry, that's a violation of the TOS, and if you used them, you could potentially be commiting a felony by violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. At which point, I would be an accessory to the felony. So, no, you may not have them.

Re:Sensibility (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856493)

Sensibility!=sense

Yeah, but (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856111)

It wouldn't be against the proposed law to ask employees to make all that information public, would it? Law might be too specific.

Meh.. Darwin at work.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856133)

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.

Re:Meh.. Darwin at work.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856191)

...said the Anonymous Coward on the internet.

Re:Meh.. Darwin at work.. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856205)

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:Meh.. Darwin at work.. (3, Insightful)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856231)

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?

Re:Meh.. Darwin at work.. (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856397)

a number of folks have thier profiles locked down to the point where all you can see is that they have a profile (without friending them)

so unless FB decides to rejigger the settings and "accidentally" set everything to World Visible there can be a lot of stuff you have on FB that folks can't see.

Re:Meh.. Darwin at work.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856695)

Can you sue FB if they "accidentally" set everything world visible?

Re:Meh.. Darwin at work.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856631)

... on a public international communications network...

How about telephone networks? Mobile phone networks? Unlock your cell phone so I can review your voice mails and texts or I will fire you!

Username, meh, password, Darwin (2)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856683)

It's one thing to ask for somebody's Facebook user name, so you can see if they're posting embarrassing pictures of themselves and friending inappropriate people, and so you can look at their Mom's Facebook page to see if you can find her maiden name.

It's something entirely different to ask for their password, so you can post embarrassing pictures of them on their Facebook account, friend inappropriate people, and write stuff on their Mom's Facebook page wall.

Re:Meh.. Darwin at work.. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858135)

So when I bank online, I shouldn't have a right to privacy for others to see my bank info?

Phew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856147)

I'm glad I have a Right not to hire people in Illinois!

Re:Phew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856331)

Yeah. If government doesn't let corporations do what they want and doesn't fellate them at every opportunity then the government is "anti-business." I forgot.. sorry.

Re:Phew (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856349)

It's not really that, I don't think. Since now you are a terrorist if you do not have a Facebook account, I believe it is in the interest of National Security to allow employers access to job applicants' Facebook accounts, just to make sure those accounts are real and legitimate, and not just shell accounts created to avoid looking like a terrorist.

Hi mitt romney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856357)

what next the right to work people 39.5 hours and not give them any paid time off or health care.

With high presser sales like stapes?

Is This For Real? (4, Interesting)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856193)

What are these jobs that make you surrender your personal login credentials? Is this really happening? How would this ever be considered acceptable practice?

Re:Is This For Real? (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856261)

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:Is This For Real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856789)

As a software engineer, I've been actively interviewing for the last 3 months, and have gone on about 10 face-to-face interviews and about 20-25 phone screens in that time, with numerous companies in and around Boston & New York. Not once have I been asked for a Facebook login.

I'm looking for something new to replace my current job, not trying to find a job because I don't have one, but I've yet to see a single employer ask for any of that info. In fact, I've used Facebook and LinkedIn to get info about many of the people I'm interviewing with before I interview with them.

I suspect this "EVERYBODY IS ASKING FOR FACEBOOK CREDENTIALS" meme is overblown sensationalism; I don't object to government enshrining the protection in law, certainly, but I have to wonder if it's actually as much of a problem as the single story I've read about Maryland Dept. of Corrections interviews requesting the info suggest.

Re:Is This For Real? (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858245)

The crazy part about Maryland Dept of Corrections is that was the GOVERNMENT asking for the credentials. Then the state passed a law to protect us from the state.

It's still amazingly stupid (2)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856887)

Asking for their Facebook user name is one thing - a company might want to see the public profile the person presents, and a creepy HR department might want to see who their friends are. But any HR department that wants your password is exposing the company to legal liability for misuse of the information, and really has some 'splainin to do about why they want it the ability to forge the job candidate's information.

I do computer security - anybody dumb enough to give us their password is too dumb to hire, unless it's a fake honeypot account, in which case if we're dumb enough to risk logging in then we deserve whatever happens to us. HR may think that the link showing they've made Godfather really goes to the real Mafia Wars, but it's a job offer they can't refuse.

Re:Is This For Real? (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856281)

There were prisons asking guards for social media credentials so they could check for gang associations IIRC.

Re:Is This For Real? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856311)

Not only that.. there were all types of employers that have been telling applicants to give up your Facebook password or we will not hire you, period. I haven't even heard of any specific cases dealing with prisons.

Re:Is This For Real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856817)

there were all types of employers that have been telling applicants to give up your Facebook password or we will not hire you, period

Surely you can cite a few of the employers here, then?

The only one I've seen is the Maryland Dept. of Corrections one, which got posted here on Slashdot, and the policy was reversed pretty much immediately after the news report hit the internet.

I'm really curious which employers have been trying to do this, because I haven't encountered a single one of them.

Re:Is This For Real? (2)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857333)

The worst part about that situation, is if the prisoner stands up for themselves, the guard kicks them out of the prison. Some people say, "you can always find another prison to be incarcerated within," not realizing how overcrowded they've all become. When there are too many prisoners and not enough prisons, the prisons get to set the terms. And if you don't give your gangbook password and they kick you out for that, they can always pretend it was for some other reason. "That guy? Oh, we kicked him out because his crime didn't seem serious enough. Murderer schmurderer, we need the cells for marijuana farmers."

Re:Is This For Real? (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856363)

Good question actually and I would really like to see a list of companies that do this published.

You have the right. (0)

phazemstr (1405173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856277)

You have the right that everything you post to a public forum is therefore public and accessible. Or else, why did you post on a public forum in the first place?

Re:You have the right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857547)

It's talking about *login credentials*, ya know, username and password? Those arent exactly 'publicy posted'.

Definition (4, Interesting)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856377)

(4) For the purposes of this subsection, "social networking website" means an Internet-based service that allows individuals to:

  1. (A) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, created by the service;
  2. (B) create a list of other users with whom they share a connection within the system; and
  3. (C) view and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

"Social networking website" shall not include electronic mail.

Great, now I have to look up the definition of electronic mail. Is it going to be things which talk rfc822? Or it is going to be things which transmit messages between different users? (I just checked Facebook and it has some kind of messaging thing in it; would be hilarious if Facebook didn't qualify.)

I bet most sites which use logins, could be made to become social networking. Even banks, if you get creative.

I hate laws like this, which are so needlessly specific to handle ephemeral trends. Why didn't they just make it illegal to impersonate other people? Who profited by lobbying against that?

Re:Definition (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857127)

I hate laws like this, which are so needlessly specific to handle ephemeral trends. Why didn't they just make it illegal to impersonate other people? Who profited by lobbying against that?

Actors. Actors often have to "impersonate" another person - see anyone acting in a biographical movie, for instance.

So once again, we can blame Hollywood! Yay Slashdot!

Intuitive comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857949)

I see your point, but actors are listed as impersonating someone else in the credits. It is identical to plagiarism vs quotes and cited sources.

Employers and Facebook (3, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

And if you are out of work? (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856839)

Standing up for your rights when an employer asks you to do something legal, but unreasonable is all well and good if you are actually in a position to refuse. But if you are out of work, and really need the money, refusing an offer or aborting an interview because of crap like this is quite a bit harder.

Re:And if you are out of work? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856903)

It is legal now to break contracts? And I thought, pacta sunt servanda.

If you sign up with Facebook (or any other site), you are contractually bound by the Terms of Services. Facebook's ToS explicitely state that you are not allowed to give your credentials to anyone else. If your future employer asks you to break contracts, you are fine with that?

Re:Employers and Facebook (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40856897)

let market forces end this practice

You still believe in the easter bunny, don't you ?

This Practice is Already Illegal Under Federal Law (1)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856841)

This practice is, arguably, already illegal under the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Fraud_and_Abuse_Act [wikipedia.org]

It all depends on whether your employer would be considered "authorized" to access the computer just because you coughed up your credentials.

If giving your credentials to other people is against the TOS of the site, one might argue that your employer is not authorized and, furthermore, that you might be guilty of "Knowingly and with the intent to defraud, trafficking in a password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed without authorization."

Re:This Practice is Already Illegal Under Federal (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856955)

You can't authorize somebody to access Facebook's servers unless you work for Facebook. Access is granted in the T&C for users when they sign up, but it explicitly forbids giving others your login details.

Simple solution: Facebook should set up a "panic password" which you can hand over, the first time this is used it locks the account down, records the IP etc and flashes up a big page informing the "hacker" that they have broken laws X,Y and Z, that the authorities and the original user have been informed, and that Facebook will assist the user in pressing for prosecution and compensation.

Re:This Practice is Already Illegal Under Federal (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857725)

You forget that Facebook is not the product. It's users are the product.

A panic password does little to nothing for Facebook and only creates more work for them.

In this case, we would need a law to force Facebook and others to do this.

Re:This Practice is Already Illegal Under Federal (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858031)

I don't know if the wording of this bill addresses it either, but your TOS point would arguably be defeated just by asking the employee/candidate to login themselves.

Finally (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40856877)

Emphasis on the part that I felt was entirely overdue.

HB 3782 prevents employers from screening potential job candidates or reprimanding current employees based on information from their social network accounts that would otherwise be private.

ie. They can't just friend you or your friends in order to glean info off of your account and then fire you for it. I would imagine that if you have the info set to openly public it might be in the gray area.

Now if we could get them to remove the stipulation in affirmative action laws that allow them to decide what they think you are (race/gender/etc) and document it after you choose to opt out of offering them the information. (I've had several issues with this in the past few years)

A corp MITM attack will capture all anyway ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40858173)

The company I work for has inserted themselves as at Trusted Root Certification Authority in Internet Explorer. They can easily do this since they deploy IE to the desktop.

Now, when you go to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. they do a Man-In-The-Middle attack and present their Cert as authenticating the site.

So it you were to look at the secure certificate for Faceboook, you'd see:
The certificate is issued to Facebook.com
But The certificate is issued by internalServer.myEmployer.com

Between you and the site they're decrypting the data and re-encrypting using their own certificate before they present it to you. Then the reverse takes place when you send data. This trick captures logins and passwords as well as any other "secure" browsing over SSL. The lock symbol appears, so most users wouldn't bother to look closely at the certificate since it's "valid".

Does anyone else know of other companies doing this?

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