Employers requesting passwords
Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:00 pm
SEATTLE (AP) — 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.
“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.”
Since the rise of social networking, it has become common for managers to review publically available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates.