The Workplace Peep Show

Imagine your boss calling you into his or her office. It could be for a number of reasons from a project update to a quick review of recent activities. According to recent news reports it may increasingly be to ask you for your passwords to social media sites like Facebook.

Besides the inappropriateness of such requests, more than a dozen states are taking steps to make these demands illegal. While I feel that this is a great start it is important to understand why employers are making these requests in the first place.

Too many companies and organizations still view “social media” as a mystery, best understood by self described “gurus” and recent college grads. Unfortunately this perception clouded online engagement in the boardrooms, making it something to be corralled rather than embraced.

Thankfully employers have not asked me for my passwords in job interviews. I would question their view of the modern business world if they did so. It would be extremely interesting to find out which sites they would requests passwords to. Would it only be the media headliners like Facebook? How many other sites could they name?

I would love to know how many HR teams made password requests in the past to review emails from AOL or Hotmail accounts…


One thought on “The Workplace Peep Show

  1. While I would never ask for passwords (or give mine out if asked) I do check the various social media platforms of people before interviewing them. Social media now plays such a large role in our lives and the people who don’t understand it or that are resisting it must be feeling some frustration. It is happening so fast but we have barely gotten started with what technology will eventually offer us. The laws surrounding these issues can’t keep up with the speed in which changes are being made, but the one thing people regardless of where they stand or what they know about social media is that privacy is dead and gone. With a few clicks of a mouse employers, or anyone else for that matter, can find out anything they want about someone so peeking into your Facebook account is irrelevant anyway. A thorough Internet search can yeild far more than most people think.

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