As some of you may have heard, some employers are starting to ask their employees or potential employees for their Facebook passwords, in order to "do a background check" on them. Some have implemented this practice as a condition for employment, a condition for promotion, or even as a condition to not be fired. Obviously this is a huge invasion of privacy, but it also seems to walk a very fine line when it comes to existing anti-discrimination laws. If a potential employer browsed someone's Facebook, they could find out a lot more than their drinking habits...they could reasonably be expected to find out the person's religion, race, sexual orientation, whether they are expecting a child, what their political views on unions are, etc.
Is this really a road that we should go down? Do we need legislation preventing this? What happens if an employer views someone's Facebook, sees that they're a member of a group typically associated with a certain race (e.g. NAACP or ADL or La Raza), and then decides not to hire them? Who knows if that was the actual reason they weren't hired, but I think the person could reasonably make the claim that they were discriminated against.
And here is a great resignation letter from a man who had to ask potential employees for their Facebook passwords before he could hire them: I hereby resign - raganwald's posterous