Password info remains private

The State of Michigan recently joined five other states that have approved legislation prohibiting employers from seeking Facebook login names and passwords from employees or prospective employees.
Jan 28, 2013


Michigan lawmakers also included penalties for educational institutions that dismiss or fail to admit a student who refuses to provide passwords for private Internet and e-mail accounts, including social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Kudos to Gov. Rick Snyder and fellow lawmakers for putting a halt to such ridiculous practices. How could any company or educational institution even begin to think that this could be considered acceptable?

For businesses, it’s important to make sure you are hiring the best candidate. It’s also important that employers protect their proprietary information that existing employees might have access to. But to invade the privacy of someone to the extent of obtaining social media account information is taking it way too far.

Likewise with educational institutions. They obviously want to create a safe learning environment, and want to be aware of those who may have other motives, but it must be done in a more productive way.

Who would want to work at such a place, or attend a school that administered such practices?

At the same time, people need to know that everyone is accountable. And if you put information on the Internet for others to see that might be considered unacceptable, there are consequences for your actions.

The Internet is full of gaffes, drinking and partying pictures, and rants and raves. Keep yours contained if you think they would be held against you, now or in the future.

The key is to keep private the personal information that could paint you in a negative light, especially if you’re seeking employment or a student seeking admission into college programs.

Why? Because the Legislature didn’t make it illegal to look at public information on the Internet and social media sites. They just can’t ask you for your password.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.