In March 2012, social network privacy became a conversation topic after news reports of the story of Justin Bassett, a job applicant who withdrew his application in the middle of an interview when the interviewer asked him for the username and password of his private Facebook account. Although the issue has received much attention from the public and media, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that it has no interest in prosecuting employers for asking for social networking account information. Fortunately, legislation that would make it illegal for employers to ask for the username and passwords for social networking sites as a condition of hiring a candidate is currently being considered at the state and federal levels. While this is a necessary reform, legislatures should go one step further and truly protect private social networking by preventing employers from accessing these accounts through other methods.
The Need to Prevent Employers from Accessing Private Social Network Profiles,
U. Mich. J. L. Reform Caveat
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjlr_caveat/vol46/iss1/6
This Comment was originally cited as Volume 2 of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of MJLR Online have been renumbered 45, 46, and 47 respectively. These updated Volume numbers correspond to their companion print Volumes. Additionally, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online was renamed Caveat in 2015.