Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Future Employers, Colleges and the Gov Insist on Facebook Access

The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.” -Samuel Adams

To surrender one’s liberties or not to surrender one’s liberties.  Actually, for many it is already a done deal.

Image courtesy of Politifake.
Image courtesy of Politifake.

 Above image courtesy of Politifake.


“Setting high privacy controls and de-tagging yourself in photos may not be enough to keep potential employers from having concerns about your social media self.

Rather than trying to get around the pesky password protections of Facebook and email accounts, certain government agencies and colleges are cutting straight to the source.

Some extremely inquisitive employers are asking candidates to hand over them their email and Facebook login information when they apply for a job.

Others strongly request that the candidate opens their pages in front of them and allow their would-be bosses to scroll through their private information during the interview.

Critics are crying foul, like the American Civil Liberties Union who says that the practice is a clear violation of personal privacy. ….”


Why part with precious capital to hire a private investigator to investigate that, which is freely provided, by far too many with social network accounts, in this instance, Facebook.

As such, that is now the mindset of future employers, college administrations and government agencies.  Hence, those who willing part with their privacy through social media are making it far too tempting for those in power to trample upon the liberties of all.

To all of the useful idiots out there who so willingly place your life story and second by second play of your day to day (and far too often, nocturnal) activities on Facebook, including those family members and friends whom I have personally warned, not only did I tell you so but you should have seen this coming.

For example, I have been warning folks not to trust FB’s terms of service.

Section 4, ¶ 8 of FB’s terms of service clearly states, You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.”

While Section 5, ¶ 7 states, If you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it.”

So how do you handle the request to turn over your FB password or provide access to future employers, government agencies or educational institutions, JUST SAY NO.

As for those resting comfortably because they do not have  a FB account, not to worry, FB is dead on it.  See, Facebook “Shadow Profiles” detail non-members, prompt investigation, October 2011 (excerpt below).

Facebook has been accused of building “shadow profiles” on individuals not registered with the social network, gathering information from synchronized phones, email providers, IM conversations and more. The claim, leveled by Europe Versus Facebook as one of several complaints regarding how the popular website collects and stores personal information, suggests that even those people who have chosen not to register with Facebook still have hidden profiles, constructed from all the data the social network can scrape together….

…Facebook, the complaint reads [pdf link], “is mainly collecting e-mail addresses but it also collects names, telephone numbers, addresses or work information about its users and non- users.” A public profile only reveals a subset of the information Facebook stores about each active user, it’s suggested, with the remainder being used by the site to power its friend suggestions and other tools. “This information might also constitute sensitive data such as political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation and so forth….”

Remember the movie, Minority Report which starred Tom Cruise?  In particular, the scene where Cruise is walking through the mall and the advertisements recognize him?  Calling out to him?

FB is ten steps ahead of everyone with through the use of facial recognition and no one is calling them out.  See, Facial recognition presents privacy concerns.

Of course and as expected, in December 2011, the findings were that FB was not setting up shadow profiles of non-members but ordered to tighten its security.

The world’s biggest social network is not building ‘shadow profiles” of non-users, an Irish privacy watchdog said Wednesday — vindication for Facebook of allegations it has hotly denied….

… “While certain data — which could be used to build what we have seen termed as a ‘shadow profile’ of a non-user — was received by Facebook, no actual use of this nature was made of such data,’ Hawkes said in a conference call unveiling the results of its months-long investigation. ‘Neither is there any profile formed of non-users….”

On a personal note, when I discuss these concerns with younger family members, co-workers, associates and neighbors, all of whom are on FB, I am bowled over by their lack of concern.  Yet let someone off the street or someone not in their “inner circle” ask a personal question and the same individuals are up in arms accusing others of being “all up in their business.”

Go figure.

All posts cross-posted on PUMABydesign001's Blog