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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 4, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Employers should not require social-media passwords

Social-media sites resemble private realm

Employers have no right to demand or expect applicants to give up their passwords to social-media sites [“Social-media passwords not the bosses’ business,” Opinion, Feb. 27]. I understand companies’ desire to get to know the people they are considering hiring, and why they might want to monitor their employee’s online activities. However, requiring access to Facebook profiles and other online media sites goes to far into being an invasion of privacy.

Employees have a right to keep some level of privacy and should be able to conduct themselves differently in private, if they so choose. I myself wear different clothes on the weekends and talk differently to my mother than I do to my college buddies. Requiring access to their Facebook seems suspiciously similar to showing up at their house and poking around their bedroom.

As long as employee’s online behavior does not affect their work performance or tarnish the companies image significantly, they should be free to do as they please, without anyone looking over their shoulder. After all, if a company needs someone’s password to find embarrassing information online, no one else will be able to easily find it either.

–Austin Williams, Salem, Ore.

Comments | More in technology | Topics: privacy, Social media, social-media passwords

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