Thursday, April 12, 2012

Your potential employer wants your Facebook password? Just say no

If you are looking for a job, be forewarned: some clown in human resources may have the gall to ask you for your Facebook password.

Not only is this creepy and a blatant invasion of privacy, the Maryland legislature just passed a law to make it illegal and several other states are poised to follow suit, including California, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

I don't know how widespread this practice really is, but given the current employment environment, it is good to be armed with knowledge about what to do. Be careful: if you are already employed and your company has as a social media "rules of engagement" policy, you might be caught off guard. But the perspective changes if you are seeking employment. What's next? Will someone ask you for your mobile phone call records?

For some great background on this topic, I suggest a series of stories that have been posted over at ZDNet's "Friending Facebook" blog:

  • Petition: Investigate employers asking for Facebook passwords

  • Teacher’s aide fired for refusing to hand over Facebook password

  • House votes down stopping employers asking for Facebook passwords

  • US senators: Investigate employers asking for Facebook passwords

  • Facebook: No plans to sue employers asking for your password

  • Senator vows to stop employers asking for your Facebook password

  • Facebook: Legal action against employers asking for your password

  • ACLU: Employers demanding Facebook passwords is privacy invasion

  • School district demands Facebook password, 12-year-old girl sues

  • Employer demands Facebook login credentials during interview