Suppose you finally receive that call you’d been waiting on. They want you to interview for the job. You need the work and know you have to put your best face forward. You head to the interview and they call you in. You sit down and as your prospective employer is going through your resume, he asks for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media passwords you may have so he can “see the real you.”
Or suppose you were called into your boss’ office and he says it’s important that you are representing the company well at all times. He then demands that you turn over your Facebook password or face disciplinary action, even termination.
What would you do?
Most may say they would refuse to provide the information but if you really need the job you may feel like you have no other choice but to comply with the demand.
Such a practice is an invasion of privacy, intimidates jobseekers and employees, and over reaches, especially if these avenues are protected and not readily available in the public domain.
Maryland became the first state to prohibit employers from demanding applicants or workers provide their username and password for social media sites. The bill easily passed the Maryland General Assembly with true bipartisan support. It restricts employers from accessing password-protected content and ends the intimidation factor while ensuring the privacy of citizens.
Mississippi needs to follow suit and pass a Social Media Privacy Bill soon. Legislators should join together – Democrats and Republicans – and protect Mississippians’ privacy now before such a practice becomes the norm for Magnolia State workers.
It is far better to be safe than sorry, especially when it deals with citizens’ privacy and our freedoms.