Lawsuit: NBC demands access to applicant’s Facebook & Instagram profiles

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In a very troubling lawsuit, it is being alleged that NBC is demanding applicants provide access to their personal Facebook and Instagram accounts. Plaintiff, Stephanie Belanger is alleging that NBC demanded that she provide access to her Facebook and Instagram accounts before she was interviewed for a particular position at the network.

Ms. Belanger was already an NBC employee when she was interviewed for another position at the network when she was asked to provide access to her Facebook and Instagram photos. Ironically, it was NBC News (Investigative Journalist Bob Sullivan) that first reported in 2012 that employers and schools were demanding applicants, students, and employees provide access to their social media accounts during job and college interviews (and during other instances).

New York state has failed to follow the lead of at least 26 other states to enact social media privacy laws that ban employers and schools from being able to request access to applicant’s personal social media profiles.  Has NBC or its parent Comcast lobbied New York against enacting these protections?

The bottom line is that employers and schools need to stop this behavior and states such as New York that have failed to enact social media privacy laws need to do so before more people lose opportunities because the law has not kept up with technology.