Let me play devil's advocate for a moment:
If I were a boss, I'd ask for your Facebook password.
You may think what you do is personal and private on Facebook. But how much is really personal and private when you're posting pictures and sharing stuff with hundreds of your friends? An email to one or a handful of people may be considered private, but if you're sharing with, say 500 friends, that's different.
Imagine you're in an auditorium with a large projector, and you're telling 500 people in that auditorium about your weekend, and posting pictures, and saying things that affect your reputation and possibly your employer's reputation. Do you have a reasonable expectation to privacy when you're sharing with hundreds? Or what if after you quit your last job, you went on a long rant about your previous boss and possibly defamed her and your previous employer? As an employer, I have an interest in understanding how you conduct yourself in this nexus of public and private space.
Our columnist, Eileen Ambrose, covered this issue this week, with an overview of legislation pending in Annapolis that would make it illegal for employers to ask for social media account passwords.
That may well happen -- but that won't stop employers, with the services that are cropping up all over the Internet, to do a thorough social media background check on someone. Employers are always seeking to minimize risk and liability with the people they employ. They're on the hook professsionally and financially.
So, what do you think?
(Remember, I'm playing devil's advocate here, arguing from the employer's perspective.)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun