It’s not unheard of for prospective employers or universities to take a peek into the digital lives of their applicants. However, the recent case of a middle school assistant principal allegedly demanding access to a student’s Facebook profile may be a bit too far.
An Everett, Washington, middle school student, Samantha Negrete, reported last week that she had been called to her school’s front office and, once there, forced to log in to her Facebook account by the assistant principal. He wanted to use her account to spy on the private profiles of some of her friends and stop bullying.
“There was no right for anybody to come in and ask her to open up her personal information to obtain any information about anybody else. That’s just something you cannot do,” said Samantha’s mother, Connie Becerra. “He proceeded to sit down and go through students’ pages and opened up numerous kids’ Facebooks and was looking at pictures and postings.”
Increasingly, law enforcement officials have used Facebook to track down criminals bragging about their bad behavior, but this invasion from a school official is breaking new and uncomfortable ground. The assistant principal had the best intentions (stopping bullying), but his actions were ethically dubious at best.
What do you think about the rights of authority figures like school officials, employers and others in accessing private Facebook profiles? Should it be legal?
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