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A person needs to be conscious of what they put online and who is allowed to see it. However, just because you have an online profile doesn't give an employer the right to base employment status decisions based on what a person does on their time. Employers don't "own" employees, they simply rent their time for a price.
I'm sure that some HR departments don't give a damn about the law or invasion of privacy, since finding pix of workers drunk at a bar singing karaoke could be a good excuse for letting go some of the "dead weight" that's holding a company back. You know, like the sales guy who doesn't really work all that hard but just collects commissions on renewal orders. The problem is when it's used to get rid of women when they get pregnant or perhaps it could be used to discriminate against minorities. In this tough business climate, why would anyone promote any part of their private lives to perfect strangers? I know plenty of people who have quit Facebook because of fear that they would be just become targets at work when the layoffs come.
Checking an employee's Facebook account seems like an invasion of privacy. But then again, if he's posted information on a public website, how could he complain? Won't HR policy need to be rewritten to specify how Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts are checked? I sure wouldn't want my boss posting messages to me on Facebook.