A queer practice in a number of organizations cause quite a hue and cry on the web recently. It was that numerous organizations were demanding from prospective employees to provide their social media passwords. This was apparently done to get a ‘better idea’ of the persons before the company could decide to hire them.
The rather unfortunate part is that it was found that the practice was also prevalent in a number of universities. These universities were asking applicants to provide passwords to their Facebook accounts so that the reviewers could judge them more ‘intimately.’
Naturally, as soon as the practice came to light in the web tech arena, a furore ensued. Facebook warned the employers to drop the practice immediately. This eventually lead to the U.S. House of Representatives trying to push through a bill to ban employers from seeking social media passwords of their employees. The bill could’t pass but apparently, individual states have now taken it upon themselves to pursue similar legislation.
California has now signed a bill which would finally prohibit the practice of seeking social media passwords from employees or new candidates for job in an organization. Another bill bars universities from seeking similar information from their students. The law, derived from the bills, will be implemented from January 1st, 2013. One hopes that other states also follow in the footsteps of California.