Social networks such as FaceBook allow people to make their profiles private so they can have a place online where they hold their private thoughts, pictures, and what not. Obviously, the whole idea of private profiles is to allow social network users to share such private information with people who have close or intimate relationships with the profile owners. Unfortunately, some employers, teachers, and other people who are in authoritative positions are increasingly demanding to have access to private profiles of the people that they’re in charge of. Is this even legal? So, here is the question, is it OK for social network users to be forced into revealing their private profiles?
This is one tough question to answer in my opinion. I think I should say, this is one tough problem to solve! On one hand, I do not like the idea of sharing private information in my private profiles to anyone besides the few people who have really close relationships with me in real life. On the other hand, I understand that employers, teachers, and the likes might want to prevent embarrass situations before such situations take place (i.e., they want to make sure the people they deal with do not post obscene materials online).
Perhaps, we can solve this sticky situation by taking the middle road approach. It goes like this! It’s unethical, and might be illegal for the people who are in charge to force someone into revealing the information within a private profile, but the same people can take appropriate actions against the people that they are in charge of if the private profiles of these people leak obscene materials to the mass. So, the idea is not to take action until indecency materializes!
Obviously, the people who are in positions of demanding access to private profiles of social network users might not like this middle road approach much. They probably hate the idea of not knowing ahead or waiting for a time bomb to explode on their hand, but it’s unethical of them to force someone into revealing the private information — whether such private information store inside social networks’ private profiles or in a bank’s safety-deposit box.
With or without this middle road approach, social network users need to safeguard their private profiles carefully. After all, if their private profiles get hack, their real life can get really messy. This is why I think it’s always best to keep what really private private! By this I mean you should not post anything that is so private onto the web!
- Developer defends Girls Around Me app (news.cnet.com)
- The Phantoms of Google+ (tech.slashdot.org)
- Girls Around Me Dev: We Didn’t Do Anything Wrong [Statement] (cultofmac.com)
- Bill Would Keep Employers From Asking for Social Media Information (thenerve.org)
- Facebook’s Password Policy: The right to remain silent (avenuesocial.com)
- ‘Girls Around Me’ Developer Defends App After Foursquare Dismissal (blogs.wsj.com)
- Internet Privacy – The Lingering Issue (featswithtweetsmarketing.com)
- No-strings nookie radar tugged offline in stalking backlash (go.theregister.com)
- Why you should be more protective of the information you post on Facebook (bazaardaily.com)
- Is Facebook Against Employers? (currenteditorials.com)