UK Bosses Are Being Warned Not to Facebook Stalk Their Staff

India Times
In days past, it was common to see screenshots of people foolishly lambasting their managers, supervisors and bosses on Facebook, forgetting that they actually added them at some point of another. It was during that period when Facebook was evolving from a platform for closed social circles to a platform for every kind of connection. Now that we're a bit further along, mistakes like that are less common, but harsher questions about privacy are being raised.

Now, EU data regulation authorities have asserted that it should not be permissible for employers to 'screen' their staff's social media profiles on a regular basis. Additionally, they stated that neither job applicants nor staff members should ever feel forced to accept a friend request from a superior, or any other incentive to hand over access to their profile pages.

This isn't just a suggestion though, this is an official declaration by a group of data watchdogs from all across the EU, including the UK. Next year, a set of new regulations will make it that much more difficult for companies to misuse personal social media data. Those who do will face hefty, potentially crippling fines.

While cases of people stupidly insulting their employers on Facebook and Twitter have died down, they've given way to bigger problems, such as employees being fired or applications being rejected purely on the basis of social media activity. This has raised concerns that social media is blurring the lines between personal and professional lives, and that people who are more active or open on social media might be treated unfairly, compared to people who are more guarded.

This new declaration is more based around the idea that bosses are tracking their staff's activity using Facebook and other platforms, and using that to evaluate their professional performance. Doing this, it opens up the chance for employees to be treated less fairly based on irrelevant things like their beliefs, lifestyle and opinions. Essentially, it's another form of favouritism, albeit more invasive. To add to this, the regulators have said that job applicants' social media profiles can only be scanned where it's applicable to the job they'll be doing.

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