The news that, as of Jan. 1 this year, Michigan became the latest state to ban employers from requesting social media account passwords from their potential hires, makes 2012 seem as if it was the year of the Internet privacy bubble.
Upon passing House Bill 5523, Michigan joined Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and California in banning workplaces and educational institutions from asking applicants, employees and students for passwords to their social networking and email accounts.
The question is, why haven't all 50 states passed similar legislation?
It makes sense that companies and schools would be interested in this information, considering that these online extensions of one's self seem to be more integrated with our real-world lives each and every day—look at the constant presence of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare among your friends, loved ones and annoying co-workers, not to mention businesses incorporating them into marketing schemes, for examples.
But what should be inarguable is the idea that the parts of one's life that they choose to make personal and private online should be held as sacrosanct as the privacy that they enjoy in their own home.
The line comes when one blends their work life and their personal lives with their online persona—such as the Florida school administrator who recently got into hot water for posting to her Tumblr "Secret life of the MILF Next Door," during weird hours which is an abomination not only for the fact that she published images of people having sex using the district's network, but also because she has a very loose (ha!) grasp of title casing.
Let's just consider her situation, that of a woman who couldn't keep from flying her freak flag during her 9-to-5, as an example of what not to do when you want to maintain your privacy.
Here's my advice, folks: Pre-empt the employer. Keep your work life and your online life separate—there's nothing more horrifying than learning your boss has seen the video of you giving a tipsy lap dance...except for the knowledge that your boss is the one who took the video, of course.
This Week On Our Blogs
On The Range, we looked at the aftermath of the fire at Wig-O-Rama and The Grill; rejoiced in the return of Arrested Development; considered the astounding number of soldier suicides this year; got excited about Miyazaki Night at the Loft Cinema; talked comics with the folks from Heroes and Villains; discussed the closing of numerous Tucson eateries; marveled at the tight victories that UA men's basketball has squeaked out over the last week; wondered how a blogger could afford season tickets in UA football's swanky new north end-zone; noticed an image that the Pinal Sheriff's Office might want to address at some point; and so much more!
On We Got Cactus, we lamented Green Day's snub of Arizona on their upcoming tour; got crazy with weird New Year's Eve movie selections; celebrated a happy and healthy new year; listened to the other Iron Maiden; and looked back at Chuck Berry's thoughts on Punk and New Wave.
Comment of the Week
"Anal sex definitely creates demons. Case in point: there is a demon who walks among us and it just happens that his name is shared with a by-product of anal sex. Of course I'm referring to Rick Santorum! Just google the name of this devotee to all that is evil and read the proof for yourself.." - TucsonWeekly.com user AZ/DC, with a comment that covers so many bases—and frankly, is so dated—that I'm not sure I can add anything to it ("Today in Incredibly Strange Videos From Former Gay Porn Stars," The Range, Dec. 20).
Best of WWW
This week, I've gotta thank TucsonWeekly.com users and readers that have helped keep us in the loop regarding the comings and goings in the Tucson food scene. We've gotten some good tips, both in the comments and by email, that have kept us abreast of such closures as the Markou family's Greek Taverna on Swan, and the out-and-out disappearance of Mad Mario's Italian Delicatessen, just to name a few. Remember, we'll be taking your tips any time—though if they're food-related, make sure to include our resident Noshing guy, Jerry Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.