Employers and Facebook
The House of Representatives crushes the FCC’s ability to protect end user privacy; and now the public is paying for it…
Last week, the House of Representatives in the US, struck down an FCC legislation amendment that would have protected end user privacy by forbidding employers or prospective employers from demanding Facebook credentials. I find this problematic, as there have been a couple different examples (1, 2) in the media recently. Unfortunately, a couple different EASY internet searches can quickly get you a dozen or more similar results, where students have been sent to detention or suspended for exercising what amounts to, free speech. Additionally, as noted in example number 1, above, one person has lost their job, also for exercising their US Constitutionally granted and protected rights of free speech.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to go on some freakin’ tirade here about first or fourth amendment rights. However, I am going to make a pretty harsh statement here:
Attention ALL US school districts, school board members, superintendents, principals, assistant principals, deans, councilors, teachers, etc. – Grow up!
As a tax payer, I spend a lot of time as well as money funding your activities. Let’s not go into how many Americans feel that their tax dollars are misused, abused or misappropriated when school district after school district contend that they simply don’t have enough money to fund <pick a program or curriculum>. That’s another rant for another time. However, just because a student has taken you to task or has made a “I don’t like <school employee> because of <event that happened to me>” statement on Facebook doesn’t mean that you automatically have the right to 1) demand they take it down, or 2) demand their Facebook (or any other social network) credentials so you can delete the comment/Fan page yourself or see what ELSE they may have said.
Who the HELL do you think you are?!?
The LAST time I checked, this was still America. The last time I checked, I was afforded the right to speak my mind (First Amendment). The last time I checked, I was protected from unlawful search and seizure or demands on my privacy (Fourth Amendment). I’m confused and, understandably, very concerned.
Reading between the lines, it appears that in both of the cases that I’ve cited, someone got embarrassed either because they behaved badly (example 2) or because something was brought to their attention that may have seemed harmless and/or funny to some (example 1), and the embarrassed persons complained to someone they work for.