Social-network users have an expectation that their views of their networks are theirs alone, that there is a private side to the public persona. But to get some jobs or scholarships, that expectation is thrown to the wind. What's truly private in a networked world?
Recently, reports have popped up about potential employees being required to divulge their personal social-network passwords or let hiring managers view their account. Some college sports players have to let "compliance officers" into their online social worlds.
What can a hiring manager or school reasonably ask of a person when it comes to monitoring their online social life? And where can, or should, a person draw the line? On this Roundtable, we discuss the topic with Bob Sullivan, author of the Red Tape Chronicles for MSNBC.
Reporters' Roundtable Ep. 117: Can you be forced to give up your Facebook password?
New! Time markers indicate where the topic is discussed on the video.
[1:45] Genesis of the Facebook password privacy flap.
[3:00] The Robert Collins case (applicant for a job at Maryland Dept. of Corrections).
[4:00] The situation with college sports players.
[5:30] Reviewing the Harriton High School Webcam spying case.
[6:20] Why schools are afraid of social networks.
[7:00] What expectation should employees have on online privacy?
[8:00] Social analytics can work even without users' passwords.
[8:45] Doesn't employment law already protect us enough from snooping?
[10:00] Different privacy laws in Europe and elsewhere
[10:45] What's the future of privacy legislation in the U.S?
[11:45] What advice do we have for people on this topic?
[13:20] Sullivan's answer: Keep your Facebook profile boring. Or drop off the grid.
[14:35] Discussing the "digital tattoo." Also: Your interviewer goes off on a rant.
[16:00] Why the formulas for credit scores and social analytics are secrets.
[16:50] What does Facebook say about this issue?
[17:45] The legal dangers to employers if they acquire user passwords or read social profiles. What if a compliance officer had access to Yeardley Love's profile?
[19:00] What is this job, "compliance officer?" What is the state of the moral monitoring of employees?
[21:00] What's next, and wrap-up.