Blog Archives

Demanding Facebook Passwords May Be Illegal, Senators Warn Bosses.

Two U.S. senators asked federal agencies Monday to look into whether employers and colleges that are asking for access to individual Facebook profiles are breaking the law.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., made the request along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal D-Conn., who last week said he’s writing legislation that would outlaw employers from requesting Facebook passwords. The issue was first reported by Bob Sullivan of’s Red Tape Chronicles three weeks ago.

On Monday, the senators asked the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether the practice violates federal laws — specifically, the  Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the the Stored Communications Act (SCA).

As the senators wrote to the DOJ:

We urge the DOJ to investigate whether this practice violates the Stored Communication Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The SCA prohibits intentional access to electronic information without authorization or intentionally exceeding that authorization, 18 U.S.C. § 2701, and the CFAA prohibits intentional access to a computer without authorization to obtain information, 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C). Requiring applicants to provide login credentials to secure social media websites and then using those credentials to access private information stored on those sites may be unduly coercive and therefore constitute unauthorized access under both SCA and the CFAA.

“Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries – why should they be able to ask them for their Facebook passwords and gain unwarranted access to a trove of private information about what we like, what messages we send to people, or who we are friends with?” Schumer said in a statement.

Like Blumenthal, Schumer cited how job seekers may feel obligated to give up access to their Facebook accounts or other personal information in order to get the job.

“Facebook agrees, and I’m sure most Americans agree, that employers have no business asking for your Facebook password,” Schumer added, refrencing Facebook’s official statement on the practice.

On Friday, Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer on policy, decried  the practice of employers asking for access to Facebook accounts. She went on to say that such requests are a direct violation of Facebook’s terms of service and “it also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.”   Source/Credit to Helen A.S. Popkin for


Top 10 Most In Demand Jobs, Careers For 2012.

In our Google driven, information at your fingertips on a 24-7 basis environment, the increase in demand for workers in the technology, health care, science and engineering will rise.  Much of this will be driven by curmudgeons like me that are quite frankly high maintenance and soon to be retiring baby boomers.  So, in thinking about my own self-preservation I thought I’d put together some of the jobs that will be in the highest demand for employer in 2012 and beyond.  After all, my retirement self-preservation is based on your ability to work.  Read up today on Jobs/Careers 1-5.

Organic Food Industry. By 2012, the organic food and beverage sector will represent about 10 percent of the food and beverage industry.  This represents $28.4B in annual US sales. The Organic Trade Associationindicates that the need for organic food producers, certification experts, retailers and scientists will grow exponentially as organic foods and beverages become more mainstream.  For more on organic food and beverage industry jobs, check out  There is also a good deal of information regarding recruiters, compensation, and requirements on the site

Computational Biology. There is a growing need for people that are a lot smarter than me, and that have the education and ability to combine computer science, biology and math to make sense of research data in massive quantities. This career field involves developing and using tools that permit the semi-automatic analysis of very large datasets such as those that are acquired in the process of sequencing complete genomes and other high-throughput sequencing studies. Computational methods that are used in the interpretation of data from high-throughput hybridization (DNA array) and protein-analysis (proteomic) studies are also considered to be a part of bioinformatics, in part because they involve the analysis of large quantities of data, and in part because of their close relationship to genomic studies.  The outcome of this work may lead to data that will drive the individual customization of medicinal treatment of patients. There is a wealth of information of careers, jobs, certifications, graduate and post-graduate requirements that can be found on the website of International Society for Computational Biology.

Parallel Programming. The world, and the universe are a series of parallels, and computers will jump from core or duo core processor units (CPUs) to multi-core processors.  No longer sequential problem solving, but parallel problem solving.  You may have 10, 20, or 40 CPU in a desktop placing supercomputer power into the home or office. The different cores can work in parallel, like a like a good band.  You’ll find a nice overview of how to think about Parallel Programming as it relates to tasking here.  Here are a few of the industry destinations one should expect to see more parallel programming in the near future.

  • Databases, data mining
  • Oil exploration
  • Web search engines, web based business services
  • Medical imaging and diagnosis
  • Pharmaceutical design
  • Management of national and multi-national corporations
  • Financial and economic modeling
  • Advanced graphics and virtual reality, particularly in the entertainment industry
  • Networked video and multi-media technologies

Here is a recent and relevant blog post on how to get a job in Parallel Programming.  You can go here to check out well over a thousand open positions at most of the big name technology firms…Microsoft, Intel, AMD, etc.

Wireless Technology. One trend is very clear and very obvious…It’s the overall rapid growth of wireless technology itself, driven by demand and innovation, as it changes our lives in all sorts of useful ways.  Further, it’s gaining momentum. Here are some of the major trends you should know about.  The fourth generation (4G) of mobile wireless technology has been conceived and is now gestating, as its parents discuss how to manage the birth, education and what sort of people the new prodigy should associate with.  The effects of this immediate mobile broadband will go far beyond just being the next mobile phone. The numbers will be huge, so business opportunities in manufacturing, retailing and development of applications such as gaming, will be strong.  The opportunities for social networking will be staggering. The opportunities for service providers will become bigger.  Add to this growth in wireless connections, functional integration into handheld devices, medical monitoring applications, and more, and well you get the picture.  Read this article on wireless technology trends and go here to check out the hottest positions moving forward.

Simulation EngineeringThe increase in personal computer processing capabilities combined with the breadth and width of data will make for more realistic and compatible simulations.  Simulation engineering will continue to expand its presence in every industry ranging from gaming, to manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and more.  Can you think of a business that will not test products and services prior to releases and forecasts for market consumption?   Modeling for large construction projects, major transportation initiatives, learning models, medical treatments, and so much more will continue to expand their reliance on this type of business tool.  Go here to see just one site’s 2,000+ simulation engineering  jobs.

I’ll be back soon with 6-10 of my Top 10 Jobs For 2012

Millennial: “You’re Not The Boss Of Me!”


You’re Not the Boss of Me Now & You Won’t Be In 2012.

A recent national survey that examined the job search strategies and work attitudes of Millennials revealed the following results that should provide some insight and concern to business leaders and HR types.  Millennials are loosely defined as those between the ages of 17 & 34. I’m torn between wanting to slap the snot out of their selfish nostrils and figuring out how to help them trust.  More on trust later.  The genius and tragedy of Facebook and other social media sites is that once on board, people feel validated as an individual but in reality have become a product.

Are Millennials only born in America where there is an abundance of technology and work since without both, the ability to collectively provide some of these responses would be difficult at best?  Seriously!  Check that age demographic in


the Middle-East, Europe (Germany not withstanding), or much of Asia and you’ll find staggering unemployment.  Want a job?  Here’s an RPG and an antigovernment banner.

  • 83% feel working independently or freelancing is a cornerstone of their career strategy.

“I work for the employer of choice; me.” Kids and a mortgage may change that, but creative compensation, flexible scheduling, performance management, and succession planning will be key retention drivers.  Succession planning may of particular importance through the leveraging cross functional assignments allowing for a sense of internal organizational “freelancing” and “independence.”

  • 56% of Millennials prefer a digital profile to the traditional resume.

What a bunch of narcissists. Most of these profiles are pretty slick.  We use clickresume, but there remain two issues.  First, the digital profile needs to be created, and maintained; and people are lazy.  Second, many company’s search & filtration systems don’t mesh with the various code that supports these profiles which makes candidate management tough.  Again, using a digital profile as a part of your internal succession plan would be beneficial for supporting a perceived need, and upgrading your succession planning process.

  • 40% indicate they are using social media to land jobs….

…and everything else. First, make sure your Social Media policy is instructive, not punitive; inclusive, not exclusive.  Understand that social media has changed how we find products & services, and how people find work.  We used to Google something when we wanted it.  Once you enter all your info into social media site X, companies buy that info and market their products in a highly targeted way.  The product now finds you on Facebook every time you sign on rather than you searching for it.  Smart companies target prospective employees in the same way.  If every time you sign on you see company X as being cool, innovative, etc., you’ll get interested.  LinkedIn has done a nice job with this, and the others will begin snapping up the better digital profile firms spoken to above.

  • 54% state that telecommuting is a critical part of their career goal & less than 13% want to work on site at a company a majority of the time. Further, nearly 40% favor freelance work with the ability to choose projects employers and hours.

…and companies only want to pay you for 13% of your work. Balderdash! Seriously, I think the bigger issue here is distrust of institution rather that work-life balance, and working on site, or off.  Don’t get me wrong, I think any company would be wise to minimize bricks and mortar or anything else that reduces fixed burden while embracing the technologies that allow it.  The companies that can create a culture of trust will succeed in recruiting and retaining top talent.

Gen X, Y, Z, and Millennials do not trust institutions. They do not trust the institution of marriage after seeing their parent divorce, re-marry, and divorce once again.  They do not trust the institution of government because of polarized parties, and abuses of power on all sides.  Many do not trust the institution of religion as they tend to have more personal, and less structured relationships with their higher powers.  Many do not trust the institution employment as they have seen many that they know laid off more than once.

On the other hand, most employers achieve success through a level of institutionalism arising from successful processes and systems which create valuable products and services.  My parents gave me only one piece of advice on the way to my first day of kindergarten, back in the 1960’s.

“Remember,” they said, “to have a friend you’ve got to be a friend.”

This was the only advice they gave me that day. Perhaps because I was left back a year in pre-school, and they thought that one piece of advice was all I could retain. Anyway, it is said that trust is composed of the interaction and existence of these three components.

  1. The capacity for trusting. The capacity for trusting means that your total life experiences have developed your current capacity and willingness to risk trusting others.
  2. The perception of competence. The perception of competence is made up of your perception of your ability and the ability of others with whom you work to perform competently at whatever is needed in your current situation.
  3. The perception of intentions. The perception of intentions,  is your perception that the actions, words, direction, mission, or decisions are motivated by mutually serving rather than self-serving motives.

In a culture of trust employees are likely to exhibit a positive relationship with all three components and to hold positive expectations about their coworkers and their actions.  So amongst all the day-to-day challenges of running a business or leading an HR function, you should be prepared to focus energy on developing a culture of trust.

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