Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is Your Facebook Password Like Your Mail, House Key, or Drug Test?

Garber, Megan. "Is Your Facebook Password Like Your Mail, House Key, or Drug Test?" The Atlantic, April 3, 2012.

From the article: "Last week, Representative Ed Perlmutter, Democrat from Colorado, proposed an amendment to H.R. 3309, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012, in reaction to news of employers, prospective and otherwise, demanding the passwords of employees' social media accounts. The amendment, colorfully shorthanded "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS ON PASSWORDS," would have prohibited employers from demanding workers' social networking usernames and passwords -- and would have allowed the FCC to intervene on behalf of employees and their privacy. It would have codified, in other words, the notion that one's social media identity is an extension of one's broader identity, with the privacy protections (such as they are) that come along with the analogy.

A day after it was proposed, the amendment was voted down -- almost entirely along party lines -- thus closing one door to social media privacy legislation, at least on the national level. (There are similar social media privacy laws -- full bills, rather than amendments -- currently being proposed in the legislatures of Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan.)

But that's not the end of the story. In fact, it's just the beginning." Read more