Monday, April 16, 2012

Reason #176: How Is This Even A Problem?

Pending the governor's signature, Maryland just became the first state to expressly ban the practice of employers insisting upon access--which is to say, login and password information--to their employees' social networking accounts.

Pointing out that it's the first place to ban the practice suggests that it's been raging across the nation unchecked, but I wasn't even aware that this was ever the case. There was, of course, a story last week about an employee of the Library of Congress who "Liked" a Facebook page related to same-sex parents, which was noticed by his boss and resulted in an alleged pattern of harassment and eventually dismissal. That kind of moral judgment by employers is highly questionable anyway, but at least the case could be made that Facebook has privacy settings and it's your own fault if you don't take advantage of them.

But for your boss to want your password? That's outright insane. I hope this is just an instance of the law having  to catch up to technology rather than a genuine debate about whether such a thing should be allowed - but then, a similar law regarding universities and their students was put forth a couple months ago and ultimately died in the legislature. We'll have to keep an eye on this one.

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