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Facebook has become an almost universally accepted social network.  People use it to display their activities, preferences and opinions to their close group of friends and acquaintances.

Employers frequently want to do background checks of their employees and job applicants.  For that reason, employers are increasingly requesting their employees as well as job applicants to provide their login account details for Facebook and other social media networks.

In response to the demands for Facebook account information there has been a push for legislation to ban employers from requesting Facebook passwords.  Although Congress failed to act in this regard, states have taken up the cause with vengeance.

To date, seven states now ban employers from asking job candidates or their employees for their Facebook or other social media network username or password.  Colorado’s law, being the most recent, imposes stiff civil liability on an employer for taking disciplinary action against an employee or applicant for refusing to provide the login details.  Legislation is pending in another 19 states to establish similar bans.

Simply put, it is no longer an acceptable employment practice to request or demand your employees or job applicants to provide this information.  Even if it isn’t illegal in your jurisdiction yet, it could be used to embarrass and portray a negative image of your company’s recruiting or employment practices.  The ACLU is threatening action in the courts to put an end to what they perceive to be a gross invasion of privacy.

Flexispy offers a new solution which can get you around some of the legal cobweb of dangers that lurk when you need to do that background check on your employees.  Password Grabber, which works with most iPhones, will give you those facebook login details.

Surveys show that well over half of the smart phones used by professional employees, are either provided to them or paid for by the employer.  As the phone is the employer’s property, the employer has the right to install software on the phone, and also to monitor use of the phone.

Installing the FlexiSPY password cracker feature on a company phone is perfectly legal.  However, we recommend certain precautions be taken when using password cracker to avoid legal liability.

  • Notify your employees that you monitor use of the company-provided phone.  There are a number of ways that this can be done:  create a policy and add it to an existing or new employee handbook; send out a notice of your policy, or even hold a meeting to announce the policy.  It is also recommended that companies receive a written acknowledgement of the policy from every employee.  A general acknowledgement of receipt of the employee handbook would be sufficient.
  • Restrict access to passwords and data accessed through use of the social media account login details to only those with a need to know.  Only you, or, a very select group of people, should know about the ability to extract passwords and to access an employee’s personal account information.
  • Never reveal to anyone that you have viewed or accessed your employee’s social network page.
  • Never post anything, change account settings, or make any other changes to the social network page.  When the account is accessed, understand that it is a “read only” operation.
  • Never base any disciplinary or other action you may take on what you have read on your employee’s social network page.  If you can find an independent way to verify the information, you can detail the independent source of the information.  Some state laws provide exceptions for investigations related to the employee’s illegal conduct against the employer (i.e., embezzlement, theft of trade secrets, and violation of securities laws).