Anita Ramasastry has an interesting piece on this today, in which she argues that it should already be illegal. But, she says, given the alarming number of employers asking for applicants’ passwords, legislation in the area would be wise.
I couldn’t agree more, especially in light of her argument concerning the potential for discrimination. Many companies require that their employees, after looking at an applicant’s facebook page, magically forget anything they learned concerning the applicant’s race/religion/sex/age, etc. While it’s a nice gesture, I suppose, it’s clearly insufficient to overcome any subconscious (let alone conscious) biases. If employers are already rejecting job applicants for interviews because they have black-sounding names, seeing someone’s photographs on Facebook is only going to worsen the problem.