Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.
SEATTLE (AP) — In their efforts to screen job applicants, some employers are going beyond the usual questions about experience and references and asking for something else: Facebook usernames and passwords.
The practice seems to be more common among public agencies, especially those seeking to fill law enforcement positions such as police officers or 911 dispatchers. But it’s happening in both the public and private sectors, and some job candidates cannot afford to say no.
Orin Kerr is a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor. He says the practice is like “requiring someone’s house keys.”
Companies that don’t ask for passwords have taken other steps — such as asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview.
I have posted many things around Facebook privacy and public versus private sharing. I read this today and fell off my chair in disbelief. Employers not only asking for your social profiles but asking for the keys to your account!!! What the heck! This is absurd. This shows that employers are not screening an applicants ability to do their job but also screening/discriminating an applicants full personality. This is absolutely unacceptable and a breach of everything about privacy you can imagine.
First off a person has multiple personalities in life. We wear multiple hats depending on the situation. Life is one big performance. That’s the beauty of the human element, uniqueness and adjustment to our surroundings. Everyone acts, speaks, and thinks differently in different situations. At church, a home, at work, with your friends, with your parents or with your spouse each one of those is a different character you play. Facebook and the social networks is an extension of that and companies have no business snooping around those in detail if you choose to block it from public view.
If you have your Facebook and other social networks open for the world to see is one thing. But if you carefully locked it down to only be visible and shared by your close circle of social contacts then no one has the right to ask to look at that if you don’t want them to. You social ‘hat’ has nothing to do with your professional ‘hat’ and your ability to do a job. As long as a person you can keep the two separate then who cares. People at work are in no way the person they are at home. Ever. Your CEO may be in a weird bondage cult that wear diapers. Who cares? That’s his social ‘hat’ which has nothing to do with his ability to run a company as long as the two world don’t conflict with each other.
Your social life is your social life. If you want to share it to all then do so. If you want to keep it private then do so. If a company asks to get into that circle to see your social side then decline. For decades companies have been hiring successful people to do work for them without knowing who they are outside of work and they have gotten along just fine. Just because it’s easier now for people to get a glimpse into that once veiled world doesn’t mean they have a right to do so.
This practice is disturbing and ridiculous. Help stop this before Big Brother is not just the government.
End of Line.