Forcing Athletes to Reveal Facebook Passwords

by Nathan Harden

What if your university told you that you couldn’t play on a sports team unless you handed over your Facebook password? That’s what an increasing number of schools are demanding these days, in an effort to regulate the online activity of high-profile athletes and keep them from embarrassing the university. In fact, an entire industry has sprung up in the last couple of years, consisting of private companies that universities hire to monitor student activity online.

“If we don’t stop it now, we’re going to have a whole generation of future leaders who think the government should be allowed to see what you’re doing,” said Bradley Shear, a George Washington University professor. . . . 

Those who oppose the practice say that it violates the students’ reasonable expectations of privacy under the Fourth Amendment, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court in past decisions. Many also claim institutions that receive government funds should not under any circumstances be allowed to make people waive personal freedoms.

“A public school has no right to demand a student to friend request a school employee or make them download monitoring software,” Shear said. “If they do so, they’re breaking the law, period.”

For more about this issue, check out the feature story at The College Fix by Ian Hanner of Palomar College.

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