I just read an interesting article saying that Germany may be the first to pass a law making it illegal for employers to spy on job applicants’ private postings on Facebook.
The proposed law aims to address privacy concerns about certain online services, such as social networks and Google Street View. Apparently, there has been public outrage in Germany over corporations checking on private employee emails and filming sales clerks during coffee breaks.
At this point, the regulations have not yet been passed, and some are finding it difficult to imagine them being in force. It would also be challenging to prove a violation and enforce the law to win damages.
For instance, employers would still be able to conduct Internet searches on a job applicant, and could view business-related posts on websites such as LinkedIn, but could not go into Facebook and become a “friend” of the applicant, learning even more private details about the person.
The proposed law would also prohibit video surveillance in private areas such as washrooms, under threat of a 300,000 Euro fine. On the other hand, this type of surveillance would still be allowed in public areas.
Some view the proposed bill as a healthy balance between employee rights to privacy and employer rights to know valuable information about employees.
What do you think?
Do you think this type of law could ever be passed in Canada?
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Editor
Latest posts by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, Ph.D. (see all)
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