Legal Rights of Social Media Users [Infographic]

What legal rights do Facebook and other social media users have in regards to keeping their profiles private and protected from potential employers.

There has been a lot of buzz in both social media and business industries as of late regarding employers asking potential employees for their Facebook password and login information.

I believe most of us feel that we should not have to divulge such personal information to potential employers but if you don’t feel you have anything to hide and really need the job, it seems logical to give in to the “man” and let the employer take a full look at your Facebook account.

See Also: iPhone and Android Security Issues 2012 [Infographic]

I believe that, on principal alone, these requests should be denied. Imagine what the next step might be! If they’re asking for Facebook passwords now, when are they going to start asking for your email password or combo to your mailbox?

To help increase awareness over the issue, an infographic (posted below) was recently published by that includes information on what legal rights social media users have, terms of service agreements of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the actions that some employers are attempting to take in regards to checking potential employees’ social media accounts.

You can also monitor, protect and repair your online identity with a variety of digital identity protection services.

Legal Rights of Social Media Users Infographic Highlights:

  1. 75% of recruiters claim that researching job applicants online profiles is part of the hiring process.
  2. Nearly all job applicants agree to letting employers view their profiles because they need the job.
  3. The following organizations are asking for access to social media profiles:
  1. Colleges
  2. Police Departments
  3. Correctional Facilities
  4. 911 Dispatchers
  5. Public Agencies
  • The terms of service for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all state that the user is responsible for protecting their password and that they should never give their login information to anyone.
  • If an organization gains access to your social media login information, they can become liable for the content posted on the account – leading to possible legal actions taken against them.
  • Organizations may violate discrimination laws by basing an applicants application on race, sex or age.
  • The Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights
  • Drafted and adopted after the 2010 Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference to help social media users know their rights. The Bill states that, “We the users expect social network sites to provide us the following rights in their Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, and implementations of their system:

    1. Honesty: Honor your privacy policy and terms of service.
    2. Clarity: Make sure that policies, terms of service and settings are easy to find and understand.
    3. Freedom of speech: Do not delete or modify my data without a clear policy and justification.
    4. Empowerment: Support assistive technologies and universal accessibility.
    5. Self-protection: Support privacy-enhancing technologies.

    Anson Alexander

    Anson Alexander is a blogger, author, SEO expert, teacher, and tech geek. As the founder of, Anson works full time writing, editing, and producing content for his site and providing technical and business services to clients. He has a BS in international business and information systems from the University of Tampa. In his free time, Anson plays video games, enjoys nature, spends time at the beach, and loves to travel.

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