Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Job Seekers Getting Asked for Facebook Password

This from USA Today:

When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.

Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn't see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.

Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn't want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.

In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person's social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.

"It's akin to requiring someone's house keys," said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it "an egregious privacy violation."

Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks...


Taylor Browning said...

Personally, I don't believe that a possible employer should have the right to your social networking site account information. I do, however, believe that if you have not taken the action to make your profile private then an employer should have the right to look at your information just like everyone else can. If you take the time out to make your profile private then I believe it should be kept that way and it should be up to you who sees your information. Asking for a possible employee's login information is taking it a little too far I think.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that folks consider two facebook pages or identities - one which is professional and one which is private. The first would seem to be the page which one would offer up, the later would be similar to one's personal mail, text or phone messages. Of course, the person could simply say "no" just like when a police officer asks to search your car. Of course you might not get the job, but do you really want to work for an organization which feels empowered to be that invasive in your personal affairs? They should only be concerned with what is in the public domain and how that might reflect on them.

Jessica Pitman said...

I understand that it isn't exactly appropriate for someone to ask for your username and password for a job interview. However, at least he was asked. I recently applied for a RA position at school. In applying for this I assumed that the people that were going to look at my application would "facebook creep" me. I have nothing to hide. Facebook can be the highlight or downfall of an interview. If you are going into the professional workforce, your facebook should resemble that.

Now, people need to understand that if a friend has tagged you in a picture or a post your information isn't private anymore- even if your profile is set to private. So, even if you think your information is private and nobody can look at it, you're wrong. If you don't give permission for someone to look at your information, they can do it anyway. That is what happened to me when I applied for this job. I was alright with it. You can't be to touchy on this subject, if you put information on the internet then that's your problem. If you're going to apply for a professional job, be professional in everything. Sometimes you just have to grow up.