Donnerstag, 12. Juli 2012

Maryland Becomes the First State that Makes Asking for Social Media Passwords Illegal

The diversity perspective: Would you want to work for an employer who asks you for your password of your social media account?

On 2nd May 2012, Governor O’Malley approved Senate Bill 433, prohibiting an employer from requesting a user name or password for accessing a personal internet account ( Maryland is the first state to making such employer requests illegal. Similar legislations in several other states are pending.                                                                                                                             

There are many practical problems with accessing someone else’s personal account. First of all, computer users agree not to share their user name and password with anyone. Sharing the information with a prospective employer would at the very least, violate such agreements. Additionally, the employer would “penalize” honest applicants, as in most cases, social media profiles can be marked as “private” and therefore would be difficult to find through internet research, in case the user refuses to share this information about his/her account voluntarily. 

Apart from the privacy question, practical, legal and ethical questions arise.  

The diversity and equal opportunity perspective 

What would an employer find after logging into an applicant’s account? Private pictures, information about the applicants’ friends? How would the information that the employer finds in such a private environment be judged? By what standard? What mechanism does the employer have put in place for example, to avoid “unintended” discrimination? If everyone had to present and conduct him/herself as a professional at all times how would that affect diversity? Isn’t the fact that people can live their personal lives according to their standards, what makes diversity possible, in the first place? 
To ensure the highest level of equality, fairness and lowest possibility for “unintended” discrimination, employers should keep the focus during the hiring processes on objective questions that lead to the answer of one question only: can the applicant do the job?

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen