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A survey commissioned by CareerBuilder found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource. They also found that a significant percentage of job seekers are passed over because of inappropriate posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The Associated Press reported, employers are increasingly asking job applicants to turn over their Facebook user IDs and passwords as part of the interview process. The fact is that in 88 percent of U.S. states, an employer can require you to hand over your social media password before they hire you!
Congress has been asked to consider a law making such demands illegal on the grounds that they constitute an invasion of privacy. However, the provision, proposed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Co.), was voted down 224-189. “People have an expectation of privacy when using social media like Facebook and Twitter. They have an expectation that their right to free speech and religion will be respected when they use social media outlets. No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment. Both users of social media and those who correspond share the expectation of privacy in their personal communications. Employers essentially can act as imposters and assume the identity of an employee and continually access, monitor and even manipulate an employee's personal social activities and opinions. That's simply a step too far.” Perlmutter explained in a Huffington Post Article. California and Illinois became the most recent states to pass the social media password protection laws. Six states, California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey enacted legislation in 2012 that prohibits requesting or requiring an employee, student or applicant to disclose a user name or password for a personal social media account. California, Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan laws apply to employers. California, Delaware, Michigan and New Jersey have laws that apply to academic institutions.
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