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Employers looking for Facebook passwords

Some employers are requesting their employees give up their passwords to their Facebook.
Will Strouth / The Daily Mississippian

 
Recent activity in Maryland, Connecticut, Washington State, Massachusetts and New Jersey raise alarm and hope for employees’ privacy rights. 
After complaints from employees being forced to divulge social media passwords to their employers, states took action to prevent further privacy breaches. 
The Password Privacy Act of 2012 builds on the existing law of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 
Initially, the law was used as a tool for individuals to protect themselves from hackers. 
With the new act in place, citizens will be protected from employer’s access to any information on the Internet that is private to general public access. 
Students among the University of Mississippi’s student body have found these claims of employers’ new route to monitor their employees unsettling. 
“I would have a pretty big problem working for someone who made me tell them my password,“ junior geological engineering major Alyson Foster said. 
There have been no claims from students seeking jobs in Oxford that they were required to give their passwords.  
“We have not had any reports of students being asked [for their password],” University of Mississippi Recruiting Coordinator Amanda Walker said. 
The question how far is too far is often asked when employers begin to monitor what employees put out on social media sites.
“I get my boss looking over my FaceBook page to see if I have stuff that would negatively affect the image of her business,”  sophomore philosophy major Megan Clark said.  “However I’d never find it appropriate for her to take up my password.”
Normal protocol for business is to look over employees’ FaceBook accounts.  
“It’s a general practice for businesses to go look at FaceBook pages,” Walker said. “I know for a fact employers have said that they generally look through, if they are public, accounts.”
For Oxford’s local daycare, Little Angels Daycare, the importance of trusting employees is crucial. Little Angels’s owner, Aleciean Mathis, has found various ways to monitor her employees without collecting her employee’s FaceBook passwords. 
“I make [employees] sign a privacy agreement up front  due to FaceBook and on there I let them know that anything that is considered rude or inappropriate behavior on FaceBook will cost them their job,” Mathis said. 
Mathis’s was not approving of businesses taking employee’s passwords. 
“I don’t think that is appropriate,” Mathis said. “We expect them to be mature people. You just can’t police everyone that works for you. I know I can’t.”
After hearing of businesses in various states requiring employee’s passwords, Holli Sweet Tooth’s owner, Holli Ratcliffe, spoke on behalf of her locally ran business. 
“I don’t understand how that is legal,” Ratcliffe said. “Holli’s Sweet Tooth would not require employees to give their passwords to any personal social media forum not directly related to the shop itself.”