A Violation of Privacy

Some private companies have apparently been asking prospective employees for their password to Facebook and other social media. It’s one thing to scan Facebook et al for any possible information, which many corporations do. Facebook is a quasi public site. When we post there, we know it shall be seen by friends and strangers alike, and if we post something we don’t want others to know, we only have ourselves to blame. It’s quite another to ask for one’s password, as one article put it, it’s like asking to read someone’s diary. Several articles in print and online have reported on the problem, mainly in the context that several states including California and Connecticut are trying to pass laws outlawing the practice. The lack of wider public knowledge about this practice is surprising, prompting two questions: How many could afford to say no? And how would we answer if we needed a job in a bad or weak economy and were asked to do something that violated our principles?