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Old 03-06-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
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Exclamation THEY are demanding FB passwords

Govt. agencies, colleges demand applicants' Facebook passwords

by Bob Sullivan

If you think privacy settings on your Facebook and Twitter accounts guarantee future employers or schools can't see your private posts, guess again.
Employers and colleges find the treasure-trove of personal information hiding behind password-protected accounts and privacy walls just too tempting, and some are demanding full access from job applicants and student athletes.

In Maryland, job seekers applying to the state's Department of Corrections have been asked during interviews to log into their accounts and let an interviewer watch while the potential employee clicks through wall posts, friends, photos and anything else that might be found behind the privacy wall.

Previously, applicants were asked to surrender their user name and password, but a complaint from the ACLU stopped that practice last year. While submitting to a Facebook review is voluntary, virtually all applicants agree to it out of a desire to score well in the interview, according Maryland ACLU legislative director Melissa Coretz Goemann.

Student-athletes in colleges around the country also are finding out they can no longer maintain privacy in Facebook communications because schools are requiring them to "friend" a coach or compliance officer, giving that person access to their “friends-only” posts. Schools are also turning to social media monitoring companies with names like UDilligence and Varsity Monitor for software packages that automate the task. The programs offer a "reputation scoreboard" to coaches and send "threat level" warnings about individual athletes to compliance officers.

A recent revision in the handbook at the University of North Carolina is typical:
"Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings,” it reads. "The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts."

All this scrutiny is too much for Bradley Shear, a Washington D.C.-lawyer who says both schools and employers are violating the First Amendment with demands for access to otherwise private social media content.

"I can't believe some people think it's OK to do this,” he said. “Maybe it's OK if you live in a totalitarian regime, but we still have a Constitution to protect us. It's not a far leap from reading people's Facebook posts to reading their email. ... As a society, where are we going to draw the line?"

Aside from the free speech concerns, Shear also thinks colleges take on unnecessary liability when they aggressively monitor student posts.

"What if the University of Virginia had been monitoring accounts in the Yeardley Love case and missed signals that something was going to happen?” he said, referring to a notorious campus murder. “What about the liability the school might have?"

Shear has gotten the attention of Maryland state legislators, who have proposed two separate bills aimed at banning social media access by schools and potential employers. The ACLU is aggressively supporting the bills.

"This is an invasion of privacy. People have so much personal information on their pages now. A person can treat it almost like a diary," said Goemann, the Maryland ACLU legislative director. "And (interviewers and schools) are also invading other people's privacy. They get access to that individual’s posts and all their friends. There is a lot of private information there."

Maryland's Department of Corrections policy first came to light last year, when corrections officer Robert Collins complained to the ACLU that he was forced to surrender his Facebook user name and password during an interview. The state agency suspended the policy for 45 days, and eventually settled on the “shoulder-surfing” substitute.

"My fellow officers and I should not have to allow the government to view our personal Facebook posts and those of our friends just to keep our jobs," Collins said to the ACLUat the time.

Agency spokesman Rick Binetti confirmed the new policy, but wouldn't comment on it or the proposed law which may ban it.

It's easy to see why an agency that hires prison guards would want to sneak a peek at potential employees’ private online lives. Goemann said that prisons are trying to avoid hiring guards with potential gang ties -- the agency told the ACLU it had reviewed 2,689 applicants via social media, and denied employment to seven because of items found on their pages.

"All seven of these individuals' social media applications contained pictures of them showing verified gang signs (signs commonly known to law enforcement which are utilized by gangs)," the Department of Corrections told the ACLU in response to questions it asked about the program.It stressed the voluntary nature of social media inspection, noting that five of the 80 employees hired in the last three hiring cycles didn't provide access.


For student athletes, though, the access isn't voluntary. No access, no sports.
"They're saying to students if you want to play, you have to friend a coach. That's very troubling," said Shear, the D.C. lawyer. "A good analogy for this, in the offline world, would it be acceptable for schools to require athletes to bug their off-campus apartments? Does a school have a right to know who all your friends are?"

There have been many high-profile embarrassing moments born of the toxic combination of student-athletes and Twitter. North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin tweeted about expensive purchases on his account two years ago, then became subject of an NCAA investigation about improper conduct with a player agent. The incident led, in part, to the school's aforementioned aggressive social media policy.

So it’s not surprising that many schools want to keep a careful eye on what students are posting online.

But avoiding an uncomfortable moment is not a good enough reason to squash free speech, Spear says. Plenty of settled case law in the U.S. sides with students' rights to express themselves publicly, he said, including numerous cases involving student newspapers. Public displays of protest are also protected: A landmark 1969 Supreme Court decisions known as Tinker vs. the Des Moines School District said school officials couldn't prevent students from wearing armbands protesting the Vietnam War as long as they weren't inciting violence.
Colleges have legitimate concerns about the things students post on social media accounts, but they should "deal with that issue the way they deal with everything else. They should educate," Shear said.

"Schools are in the business of educating, not spying," he added. "We don't hire private investigators to follow students wherever they go. If students say stupid things online, they should educate them ... not engage in prior restraint."

Goemann also noted that the rush to social media monitoring raises an often overlooked legal concern: It's against Facebook's Terms of Service.

"You will not share your password ... let anyone else access your account or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account," the site says in its policies.
Frederic Wolens, a Facebook spokesman, wouldn't comment on the Maryland legislative proposals, but he said many of these school and employer policies appear to violate the site's terms.

"Under our terms, only the holder of the email address and password is considered the Facebook account owner. We also prohibit anyone from soliciting the login information or accessing an account belonging to someone else," he said in a statement to msnbc.com. Wolens said Facebook has yet to take a position on collegiate social media monitoring.

Social media monitoring on colleges, while spreading quickly among athletic departments, seems to be limited to athletes at the moment. There's nothing stopping schools from applying the same policies to other students, however. And Shear says he's heard from college applicants that interviewers have requested Facebook or Twitter login information during in-person screenings.

The practice seems less common among employers, but scattered incidents are gaining attention from state lawmakers. The blog Tecca.com last year showed what it said was an image of an application for a clerical job with a North Carolina police department that included the following question:

"Do you have any web page accounts such as Facebook, Myspace, etc.? If so, list your username and password."

And the state of Illinois has followed Maryland's lead and is considering similar legislation to ban social media password demands by employers.

But Shear says a patchwork of state laws isn't good enough when the stakes are this high.


"We need a federal law dealing with this," he said. "After 9/11, we have a culture where some people think it's OK for the government to be this involved in our lives, that it's OK to turn everything over to the government. But it's not. We still have privacy rights in this country, and we still have a Constitution."


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Read More: http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2...book-passwords

+++++++++++++++++++++

SOoooo you think this is fine ?


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Old 03-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

Nothing to worry about. Can't really ever happen. Sheeple
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

As I work in the Information Technology world, I would not only tell them no, but also spell out the reasons why.

"Social Engineering" is one long standing hacking technique.
And would you want your employees compromising sensitive information just because someone asked for it?
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

UPDATE: If you have /use chrome you can apply one of these extensions and clean up your wall/time line/ and then remove this browser app, or keep it for the next time.

Chrome 4 Facebook
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...fdjdkpcngfpokp

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...dcpdaeepochckl



If you use FireFox, you'll need greasemonkey to use these extension.

hope that helps. please add anything to add.

[My Concern] If the colleges or companies do this, and its an expectable behavior, will it stop there or will open emails too.... then there is no stopping an EX to ask the courts, or case workers.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

"Big Brother is Watching you!"
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

When I started working to help in the nursery of my local Methodist church I had to submit to everything...OSBI, driving records, credit check and a "social trace." They asked for my fb name but not my password. I'm really not sure what a "social trace" is but I thought that was invasive.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

:::::::::::::::::: UPDATE :::::::::::
:::::::::::::FaceBook Chimes In::::::::::::::::

We have written numerous articles in the past about potential employers and university admissions offices requiring applicants to divulge their Facebook passwords during the application process.

The last week or so has seen this issue receive a firestorm of media attention. Even Facebook itself weighed in on Friday with a blog post by its Chief Privacy Officer, Erin Egan.
http://www.facebook.com/notes/facebo...26598317390057

Facebook’s position is that users should never have to share their passwords. It is actually a violation of their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities “to share or solicit a Facebook password.”

The post goes on to briefly explain the legal issues a potential employer may face by requesting this access. There is also the issue of violating the privacy of the friends of the potential applicant. As a user, you might be ok with ‘Tom’ seeing your private Facebook information, photos, etc., but would you want an unknown human resource manager having this same access? Of course not!

Erin Egan ends the post by stating, “Facebook takes your privacy seriously. We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges.”

Over the weekend, several articles were written about the possibility of Facebook pursuing legal action against offending employers. According to Mashable, Facebook released a follow-up statement clarifying their position, “We don’t think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don’t think it’s right the thing to do. While we do not have any immediate plans to take legal action against any specific employers, we look forward to engaging with policy makers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users.”

Even two U.S.Senators have joined in the fray. Epic reports the senators are asking the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate the legality of employers requiring Facebook login credentials. The Senators aptly pointed out that employers could be privy to information they are not permitted to ask during the hiring process. This fact could, in fact, cause the employer to violate the Civil Rights Act and other federal laws.

Maryland and Illinois have legislation proposed that would make it unlawful for public agencies to request social media login information.

It will be interesting to see how this pivotal privacy issue plays out.

Read More :
http://facecrooks.com/category/Internet-Safety-Privacy
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

I did not weigh in until now because the legality of it is complicated.

If you are applying for a government position, and your facebook is private, an employer can NOT ask for this information. It actual violates search and seizure principles. Complicated for sure.

I do know that this violates so many policies that we hold dear: Equal Opportunity issues, privacy issues, legal issues... it's complicated.

However, it gets more complicated with what your own personal settings are. I am on lockdown. Unless you are an actual friend, you won't find me. You have to know my name specifically to search for me. Highest security. In doing this, I am showing that I EXPECT privacy to be granted.

Those that are wide open with no protections actually have no expectation of privacy. Anyone can look at their page, personal information, and so on. Their information is akin to garbage at the curb: anyone can walk by, look in, and discover anything.

I actually was waiting for the backlash on this. Facebook must be witnessing something for them to make statements about it. Usually they are silent until there is a large problem.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

LSL, so it is a matter of "set expectations of privacy"
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

For a privacy argument, yes. For a violation of what employers are allowed to ask, no.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: THEY are demanding FB passwords

:::::::::::To let you know what facebook blog reads :::::::::::::::::::::
::::::::For discussion and if link ever changes ::::::::::::

Protecting Your Passwords and Your Privacy
by Facebook and Privacy on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 5:32am ·

In recent months, we’ve seen a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people’s Facebook profiles or private information. This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends. It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.

The most alarming of these practices is the reported incidents of employers asking prospective or actual employees to reveal their passwords. If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends. We have worked really hard at Facebook to give you the tools to control who sees your information.

As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job. That’s why we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.

We don’t think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don’t think it’s the right thing to do. But it also may cause problems for the employers that they are not anticipating. For example, if an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group (e.g. over a certain age, etc.) that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don’t hire that person.

Employers also may not have the proper policies and training for reviewers to handle private information. If they don’t—and actually, even if they do—the employer may assume liability for the protection of the information they have seen or for knowing what responsibilities may arise based on different types of information (e.g. if the information suggests the commission of a crime).

Facebook takes your privacy seriously. We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges.

While we will continue to do our part, it is important that everyone on Facebook understands they have a right to keep their password to themselves, and we will do our best to protect that right.

-- Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, Policy
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