A bill has been filed forthe upcoming Florida legislative session that would bar employers or potentialemployers from asking for a person's social media passwords. HB198 wouldprohibit the practice.
Bill Peppler is a Managing Partner at Kavaliro, a firmthat hires personnel for IT jobs across the country. He says potentialemployers, including his firm, are most certainly checking what potentialcandidates are posting on social media.
"We should be held responsible to do as much due diligence on ourcandidates as possible. The clients that we work with, some of those areFortune 500 customers are asking us to find the best candidatesavailable."
Peppler says his firm can get all of the information it needs without askingfor any kinds of passwords, and recommends that people do not give them tocompanies in these situations. Peppler also has a warning for people on the jobhunt, or just hoping to stay in their current jobs.
"Between Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, and everything else thatis out there, keep it private. There's no need to share information that isoutside what you are able to share with your friends and family. So if you havea specific stance on whether it is political or racial or on sexualorientation, anything along those lines, keep it to yourself."
State Representative Jason Broduer, R-Sanford, is anxious to hear the bill and says he willdefinitely consider banning the practice of allowing companies to ask for thattype of information, but agrees with Peppler that there is a side that everyoneneeds to be aware of.
"This is a dispute about private property rights versus personalresponsibility. I don't think any employer should have the right to ask you foryour personal information like that, but at the same time the individual shouldrealize and be responsible that if they are doing anything that couldjeopardize or cause their employer liability, that this is an at willemployment state, and they could be fired."
Facebook itself chimed in on the controversy more than 18 months ago saying that, as a user, youshouldn't be forced to share your private information just to get a job. Infact, the social media website goes even further with a little warning for employers saying Facebooktakes privacy seriously, and that they will take action to protect theprivacy and security of our users by, in some cases, potentially initiatinglegal action.