Between the cover letters, resumes, applications and interviews, applying for a new job, and even college at that, can be a nerve-racking, anxiety-inducing experience. Worried about your future, you’re doing everything in your power to say the right answer, do the right thing and overall NOT blow this opportunity.
Everything’s going great when something suddenly catches you off guard—your potential employer (or educator) asks for the login information for your Facebook account. At first taken aback, you confusedly comply, not wanting to make a bad impression—especially because you know for a fact you have nothing to hide. But, the sheer fact that you are being asked to submit your personal login information to a professional entity suddenly has you up in arms. You think to yourself, “isn’t this a violation of privacy,” but, realizing you’re still under strict scrutiny you camouflage your concerns.
Some might think this is out of some fictional book or movie, but it’s actually happening more and more across America. Gone, apparently, are the days when simple background checks or basic personal screenings were enough. Corporations and educational institutions are demanding more information than those analyses can provide and they want it now.
But how is this not a direct violation of our personal privacy? Sure, many of the potential employers stress that it is a voluntary process, but the same cannot be said for student athletes at University of North Carolina. For them, refusing to submit your account information can mean a season on the bench. Bob Sullivan with MSNBC recently reported that the school even amended their handbook to include a statement detailing the new requirement. It explicitly says an administrator must be in charge of “regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings.”
These new requirements and practices have members from every political party and ideology up in arms. Agencies like the ACLU have spoken out against this, along with Facebook spokesperson Frederic Wolens, but to effect change there’s going to need to be more outcry, more action. The blatant disregard for personal rights and respect leaves citizens wondering what’s next. Is nothing purely “yours” anymore but rather all public domain?
Pretty sure that’s not what our founding fathers intended.
With a history in personal data analysis, Jane Smith’s posts offer an inside look at the world of free background checks. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.