Thursday, March 07, 2013

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy Rights Clearninghouse, discuss social media privacy and the workplace


Electronic Frontier Foundation has a piece today about its own employment policies, and mentions that it does not ask for social media passwords, because in California, it’s the law, as it is in Maryland and some other states.  The link is here.
  
Actually, “don’t ask” (without “don’t tell”) is the right policy anyway.  As EFF points out, asking for a social media password  is like asking to visit a person’s home.  Actually, in its early days with Ross Perot in Dallas, back until the early 1970s, EDS used to do just that. They used to have a surprise “house interview”.  I heard about that in the late 1970s from ex-EDS employees when I worked for Bradford in New York City.
  
The EDS link is here
  
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has a valuable “Fact sheet on social media privacy” here
  
The interesting concept here, as I have discussed on my main blog, is that online behavior is becoming “privatized” because in this competitive world, employers feel that they need to expropriate an associate’s public social media behavior – because it could drive away clients, or be predictive of an associate’s future possible disloyalty.  No longer is there any meaningful separation between communications done from one’s own personal computer (or smart phone) and writing done on corporate infrastructure.  Twenty years ago, that had been a steadfast principle, accepting double lives.  But no more.  

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