Nowadays every college student is at least partially aware of the dangers social media can pose to future career prospects. A compromising photo hosted publicly on Facebook can easily destroy any job interview, for example.
Many people are now quick to set most of their settings to private. It’s a simple way for people to regulate their public and private lives. But it seems like even these precautions do little to maintain privacy.
A new trend is emerging in the job market. According to a report by the Associated Press, some companies and public agencies are now asking for potential employees to release their social media log in information. This allows the employer to look at all information a person may have considered private and frankly should be considered a huge invasion of personal privacy.
People are more open about themselves online. We’re more willing to reveal personal details about ourselves to people we barely know online that would be impossible to share with someone down the street. This has been noticed by interviewers.
“Their virtual friends will know more about them than a person living 30 yards away from them,” Capt. Mike Harvey said in the Associated Press article.
When applying for a job the employers want to know everything about that person beforehand and think it is ethical to ask someone for their private social media information based on this pretext.
They claim that they have the right to turn down the offer, but in this job market who could turn them down? It’s flat out exploitation of a person’s privacy.
We understand that companies want to hire credible people. But accessing information that someone posted under the pretense of privacy is unethical.
Not only can someone potentially incriminate themselves, but it also opens up the Pandora’s box of discrimination based on personal information.
What if an employer finds out that the person is of a religion they frown upon or is of a sexuality they disagree with? Neither of these factor into how well someone can do a job but can cost someone an employment opportunity based on the bias of the interviewer.
It’s a slippery slope that can lead to the destruction to the thin level of Internet privacy that we can still enjoy.
There comes a point where we have to say that enough is enough. An act such as this should be considered equal to a physical invasion of privacy. It should be punishable by law to force someone into this kind of situation, plain and simple.