Revealing Facebook passwords is the new job recruiting criteria

This is the proverbial age of cut-throat competition and job seekers, most places would go just great lengths to get that dream job! But, what if a prospective employer wants to look you up on Facebook to get to know you better? Well! many would readily agree to that, too. But, here comes the biggie. Reportedly, instances of employers asking their prospective employees to share their Facebook passwords with them, so that they can look them up on the popular social networking site are on a staggering rise. Obviously, such a practice has not escaped the eyes of law regulators, who do not find this practice to be legal, and this understandably has been the trigger behind a legislation, a proposal of which has been put forth in Illinois and Maryland following which public agencies would not be allowed to seek access to the candidates' social network profile.

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Quoting a certain Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor on his view on this changing recruiting criteria, the report stated, "It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys". He further expressed his displeasure over this, by calling it an "an egregious privacy violation." The report quotes the experience of a certain Robert Collins, who back in 2010, while returning to his job as a security guard at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, after a brief leave following his mother's death was asked to reveal his login credentials. The officials sought the information to look for any associations to any gang. As stunned as he was at the request, Collins had no option, but to comply.  Expressing his helplessness at the situation, Collins stated, "I needed my job to feed my family. I had to. To me, that’s still invasive. I can appreciate the desire to learn more about the applicant, but it’s still a violation of people’s personal privacy." Collins, obviously isn't alone. Reportedly, this practice is quite common in public agencies, and those who're applying for law enforcement positions such as police officers or 911 dispatchers have to face these, the most. 


Have you been in a similar situation? What would you do, if you're asked to reveal your personal social networking credentials to get the job? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

Published Date: Mar 21, 2012 06:11 pm | Updated Date: Mar 21, 2012 06:11 pm