Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Password, Please

This is something that's been bugging me for around a month now. Employers screen applicants with background checks, fine. I can understand that to a point; you don't want to hire a serial rapist/murderer/cannibal, I get it. Employers also screen for drug use, which I don't get. Is there some skill that you only have when not stoned out of your gourd that allows you to work a cash register correctly?

Eh, whatever.

But when I heard about employers asking applicants for their social networking names and passwords, I have to wonder "who the fuck do you think you are?"

They say it's just a suggestion, that the applicant is only volunteering this information. But that in itself a load of shit.

To quote Lori Andrews on this subject:

Lori Andrews, a law professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law specializing in Internet privacy, is concerned about the pressure placed on applicants, even if they voluntarily provide access to social sites.

"Volunteering is coercion if you need a job," Andrews said.

Let's look at it this way. If you don't get a job soon, you'll be on the street. This makes you desperate for work, any kind of work. This employer knows this. They also know that with the unemployment rate still sitting high at 8.3% as of March 21st, 2012 there are millions of people just as desperate as you. So, they ask you to give up your privacy in exchange for the hope that they might hire you when it's just as likely that they'll hire the other guy who'll not only take their privacy raping dick up his ass but will likely turn around and say "You don't even have to give me a kiss."

How is it that employers can get away with this? High unemployment breeds masses of desperate people. Is this unethical? Yes, of course, but since when has a business ever been over burdened with ethics? Is it illegal? No, but just fucking barely.

That may well change. Maryland (pdf) and Illinois are introducing bills that would "prevent employers from discriminating against prospective employees who don't give them their password."

That's a step in the right direction, but as the Maryland Department of Corrections have proved, they'll just make you log in to your Facebook account and tell you where to click just to skirt those laws.

See, one is an invasion of privacy while the other is an invasion of privacy as well as a nice bag of humiliation.

Privacy is not a dirty word and people need to remember why it is such an important right.

1 comment:

  1. Also...what if you don't have a Facebook account?