March 13, 2012, 11:54 AM — There is a creepy new (completely illegal) sense of corporate privilege and control poisoning some portion of the real world: Facebook peeping.
According to stories in The Atlantic, MSNBC, San Francisco Chronicle and Time, some employers believe they have the right to demand that job candidates and current employees hand over the username and passwords to their social networking accounts so the employer can snoop through them in an inappropriate, ineffective effort at personal background checks.
The first of these stories appeared Feb. 19, which means I'm incredibly late to even notice them. In my defense, the first mentions I saw described behavior so obviously wrongheaded I assumed they were from The Onion. The Onion is apparently having trouble keeping ahead of the ridiculous behavior of those it satires; this story actually happened.
While it depends on the same contempt for individual rights as privacy outrages perpetrated for profit by Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social-networking sites, Facebook Peeping steps on even more vulnerable toes.
Rather than exploiting the private communications of social networkers for the profit of the social-networking site, Facebook Peepers are employers who force current or prospective employees to hand over usernames and passwords to social-networking sites so employers can snoop through non-work-related posts from employees and their friends.
Usually there's not much need to pay attention to something so obviously stupid that every human with even one neuron still capable of firing will recognize what it is and demand that it stop