Thankfully, the recent flurry of media coverage of employers requesting passwords or access to social network sites of potential new employees during the interview process, seems to indicate that the practice will not go over well in Canada. A recent article written by Michelle McQuigge in the Globe and Mail “Potential employer wants your Facebook password? Just say no”, compares the lax labour and privacy rules in the US with the strong privacy protection governed by the Canadian labour laws. Although the article points out that there are no specific laws that address the unique privacy issues surrounding social media, the Canadian legal traditions and privacy rights at both a federal and provincial level are safeguards to maintaining personal information. The article assures us that as Canadians, we have the right to refuse a request for access to social media sites and suggests that we inquire why the information is necessary for the job application process, and further consider whether that is the type of employer we wish to work for.
Of course, we are further cautioned to limit the information we post to social media sites, regardless of whether it is “private” or “public”, if we want to ensure privacy. Even in Canada.
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