Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Invasion of Privacy Laws Hurts Self Identity

Remember the hot topic of whether employers should be allowed to gain access to job applicants' Facebook accounts? Well, the story linked above tells the tale of an existing employee being fired for refusing to let her Facebook be shown to her superiors.

Of course the public would be in uproar against this blatant, unwarranted assault to personal privacy by the administration. Who wouldn't be?

It seems that the teacher aide posted an inappropriate photo of a colleague that was found out.
However... here's what played out in discovering said photo:

"When a parent of a student at the school saw the photo, they complained to the district, and school superintendent Robert Colby told Hester (the aide) to fork over her password."

"When a parent of a student at the school saw the photo"

"a student at the school saw the photo"

Am I the only person who thought this was fishy? (pun intended) A student saw the photo. This will mean that the student has access to the aide's network, most likely because the teacher aide added the student to her network.

Another explanation could be that the parent had a direct connection to the aide via the social network. Still, what happened to the topic of "Should teachers Facebook Friend their students"?

And are young professionals seriously going to have to create duplicate 'professional' accounts for the field they work in?

In university I attended a workshop titled "Putting Your Best Face Forward," a seminar on how to utilize social networks in a professional manner. One of the suggestions was to create a second, professional, account altogether. At the time I couldn't see why not just work hard at refining the account you already have, after all there is still professionalism in your private life. It's not like you completely become a different person when work is over. Right?

I'm not certain where the direction of privacy laws will lead. My original reason for even posting this was to suggest that there is always a hidden story in the story that is presented to us.

Socially, what I think we may end up seeing is a culture where we are constantly second-guessing ourselves as to how much of our own selves we really want to show. The downside is that we become less social, less of our true selves.

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