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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

Much attention has been placed on social media privacy in the workplace. There have been several reports of public employers directing job applicants during their interview to divulge their username and password to allow the government to review the applicant's social media activity as part of a background check. This Note contends that the practice of public employers requiring applicants to provide their social media login information violates the constitutional right to informational privacy. With increasing access to the Internet and the popularity of social media, personal information on the Internet is becoming more accessible than ever before. Although the advent of the Internet may have been a cause for privacy concerns, the pervasive use of social media and the extensive amount of information many individuals disclose about their personal lives only exacerbates the problem.

This Note argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should recognize a constitutional right to informational privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Public employer requests for an applicant's social media information create constitutional privacy concerns, thus individuals need safeguards against government interference with personal information.

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