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Facebook passwords are requirement for job application ???

Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40


Here may be an interesting topic for the Job Discussion forum...

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-employers-seek-your-access-to-facebook-20120320,0,1581508.story

Apparently, some companies now require full access to facebook accounts as an requirement to apply for a job. What do you think?

Henry


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Completely unacceptable. Do they also want passwords to bank accounts? To place a camera in the bedroom?


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Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40


Since, I know that this discussion will be one-sided, I will try to play devil's avocate. During my last background check, they investigated via my last three companies, investigated my college (even though I graduated more than two decades ago), looked into the criminal records for New York, New Jersey, and California, looked into all federal criminal lists, did a check of financial records, etc. Given all of this, this just looks like the next step.

Henry
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

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  67

Devil's advocate or no, you know that's completely specious. Asking for passwords to private accounts is a far cry from background checks.
Tim Moores
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Joined: Sep 21, 2011
Posts: 2408
Acceptable or not, it is becoming more common. And more importantly, it's not illegal (even though the TOS may prohibit a user giving away the password), so companies try to get away with it. With unemployment being what it is, it's simply a question of whether the applicant blinks first.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11498
    
  16

Henry Wong wrote:
Since, I know that this discussion will be one-sided, I will try to play devil's avocate. During my last background check, they investigated via my last three companies, investigated my college (even though I graduated more than two decades ago), looked into the criminal records for New York, New Jersey, and California, looked into all federal criminal lists, did a check of financial records, etc. Given all of this, this just looks like the next step.

But college, criminal records and previous employers all have a direct bearing on your ability to do your job. Personally, I find financial records to be questionable at best.

My Facebook account has it's privacy settings ramped up pretty high. There is NO WAY I would give my password to that (or any other social media site) to anyone.

ever.

(except my wife).


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Matthew Brown
Bartender

Joined: Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 4490
    
    8

Sounds to me like the legality is open to question. I certainly wouldn't be remotely surprised to discover it's illegal in Europe. It breaks any right-to-privacy legislation at least in spirit.
Koen Aerts
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2012
Posts: 344

And don't leave any fingerprints anywhere... they might check your DNA as well: http://www.eyeondna.com/2007/05/19/want-a-job-submit-your-dna/
Jimmy Clark
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Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Everyone does not have a Facebook account. If some crazy employer makes a Facebook account a requirement for a position, and if a crazy candidate wants to work for said employer, he/she can simply create an account for the employer and give them the password. It is best to remain anonymous on the Internet, always, for everything unless you are advertising personal services or written products. There is no benefit to revealing your legal identity for social purposes. Do so at your own RISK.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
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Posts: 3479

Dear employer, I'm not on Facebook. Sue me!
Tim Moores
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Hussein Baghdadi wrote:Dear employer, I'm not on Facebook. Sue me!

They won't, because they won't hire you in the first place.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31062
    
232

I was shocked when I read about this as well. While I don't think I have anything interesting on Facebook (95% of it is piped from my public twitter account), that's like accessing for an e-mail password. It's none of their business.


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chris webster
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Joined: Mar 01, 2009
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  16

Tim Moores wrote:
Hussein Baghdadi wrote:Dear employer, I'm not on Facebook. Sue me!

They won't, because they won't hire you in the first place.


Really? Surely we're all supposed to be too busy working, helping each other out at JavaRanch, developing new skills in our spare time, and so on to waste time on things like FaceBook?

Never found any reason to join FaceBook myself - I'm more of an anti-social networking kind of a guy....


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Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

chris webster wrote:
Tim Moores wrote:
Hussein Baghdadi wrote:Dear employer, I'm not on Facebook. Sue me!

They won't, because they won't hire you in the first place.


Really? Surely we're all supposed to be too busy working, helping each other out at JavaRanch, developing new skills in our spare time, and so on to waste time on things like FaceBook?

Never found any reason to join FaceBook myself - I'm more of an anti-social networking kind of a guy....


As a side discussion, meaning that I am not commenting on the pros/cons of this practice... I think if you don't have a facebook account, and say so, it should be okay. However, if you do have a facebook account, and say that you don't, or create a new one, it is just like lying on a resume (or during the interview).

Henry
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Tim Moores wrote:With unemployment being what it is, it's simply a question of whether the applicant blinks first.


I don't understand this statement. At least in my market, we have full employment for competent Java developers and architects. If I tried nonsense like this when searching for people, not only would I be unable to hire anyone good, but my name and my company would likely get informally blacklisted within the Java community.

Cheers!

Luke
arulk pillai
Author
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3275
I am not sure about a facebook account, but I think professional online presence is important via linkedIn, blog, etc. Networking is a key aspect of finding employment.


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Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Luke Kolin wrote:
Tim Moores wrote:With unemployment being what it is, it's simply a question of whether the applicant blinks first.


I don't understand this statement. At least in my market, we have full employment for competent Java developers and architects. If I tried nonsense like this when searching for people, not only would I be unable to hire anyone good, but my name and my company would likely get informally blacklisted within the Java community.


As with all things that pushes the limits, I think it is safe to assume that the targets are the weakest in society -- so professional developers are probably not the target. The targets are probably the ones without a college education (or even less), without or with little experience, and the poor. In that context, the statement makes sense.

Henry
Anayonkar Shivalkar
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Joined: Dec 08, 2010
Posts: 1512
    
    5

arulk pillai wrote:I am not sure about a facebook account, but I think professional online presence is important via linkedIn, blog, etc. Networking is a key aspect of finding employment.

Yes. It would be nice if a candidate is applying for a job of Java developer, and also maintains a blog about Java programming. But asking the password is too much(rather unacceptable).

Besides, I would really think about what kind of work ethics and/or work environment of such employer (most probably, I won't think about it at all and walk out )

Here (in India), things are quite easy. Nobody cares much about personal stuff. I have never asked any candidate such questions, and I was not asked such questions wherever I applied for job. Seems that all my friends are good people but none of them had any problem with background check or whatsoever(and not a single employer asked anyone of them anything about social networking - all they(employers) were interested in was a means of contacting the candidate - i.e. mobile number and email - which is written on resume).

I really do not understand what exactly employer is looking for when it asks this question. Say, one candidate does not have a faceobook account, second candidate does have a facebook account but does not share its password, and third candidate does have a facebook account and shares the password. Now, what if the second candidate is the best suited one for job profile? I mean, is social networking skills is criteria? (it is, in some specific fields like PR, media etc., but again, asking for password? no way).

Luke Kolin wrote:company would likely get informally blacklisted within the Java community.

I guess this statement explains it all.


Regards,
Anayonkar Shivalkar (SCJP, SCWCD, OCMJD, OCEEJBD)
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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  67

Anayonkar Shivalkar wrote: I mean, is social networking skills is criteria?

They're not looking to determine social networking skills, they're looking for dirt.
Anayonkar Shivalkar
Bartender

Joined: Dec 08, 2010
Posts: 1512
    
    5

Bear Bibeault wrote:They're not looking to determine social networking skills, they're looking for dirt.

Hmm... so whatever is going on in private life of a candidate, its gonna affect the relationship with employer? I still don't understand the reason about all this. In background check, anything other than professional life should not matter (by professional life - I mean past job record of employee, and if necessary, his/her educational details, and his/her criminal records - just in case).

If an employer is judging a candidate on what kind of music he/she likes or what kind of places he/she hangs out at, then its gonna really be difficult for employer to get good candidates. Or else, like someone said, that 'teacher' trend would be with these folks too - everybody would have two profiles - one for employer, another for friends
Paul Anilprem
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    8
This seems to be a clear violation of ... something. It feels so wrong. Since we are all net savy people here, we can at least forsee the consequences of what we write on the net and can probably protect ourselves from such snooping. But imagine people from non tech backgrounds, who work for lower level jobs. They probably won't even realize the level at which they are being discriminated against.

It is very slippery slope from facebook passwords to things that are clearly illegal such as sexual orientation, religion, or political beliefs.

I hope someone sues and wins!


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Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Paul Anilprem wrote:I hope someone sues and wins!


On what basis? It's a breathtakingly stupid idea by if you criminalize stupid, the prisons would be overflowing.

Cheers!

Luke
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
arulk pillai wrote:I am not sure about a facebook account, but I think professional online presence is important via linkedIn, blog, etc. Networking is a key aspect of finding employment.


??? This thread has nothing to do with whether you have an account or not.

My employees need a bank account, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea for me to ask them for access to it (or for them to give it to anyone).

Cheers!

Luke
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
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    8
Luke Kolin wrote:
Paul Anilprem wrote:I hope someone sues and wins!


On what basis? It's a breathtakingly stupid idea by if you criminalize stupid, the prisons would be overflowing.

Cheers!

Luke

Oh, I am sure there can be a solid ground. A case can be made that the person didn't get the job because he was forced to reveal his sexual orientation/religious beliefs/etc. through data in his facebook account. Doesn't matter if this is stupid or not, it would be illegal.

It is already illegal to ask questions on these areas. Employer cannot circumvent this legal protection by forcing the applicants to give personal data. Access to personal data is as good as asking questions on prohibited topics.

I think it definitely makes probable cause.
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
That logic makes sense.

Cheers

Luke
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Paul Anilprem wrote:
Oh, I am sure there can be a solid ground. A case can be made that the person didn't get the job because he was forced to reveal his sexual orientation/religious beliefs/etc. through data in his facebook account. Doesn't matter if this is stupid or not, it would be illegal.

It is already illegal to ask questions on these areas. Employer cannot circumvent this legal protection by forcing the applicants to give personal data. Access to personal data is as good as asking questions on prohibited topics.

I think it definitely makes probable cause.


I am not sure if this information is known, as this news is local to NYC....

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/03/new_legislation.php

Basically, around my parts of town, they are proposing a new law making it illegal to discriminate against the unemployed. Part of me thinks this is silly -- as I think a lot of what the city council does is for publicity.... but ... And maybe I am jaded, but I think that this is an issue because discrimination against the unemployed is not illegal. IMO, I think employers seems to push the line of legality as much as possible -- and Facebook access (as Paul mentioned) will allow that discrimination to be less detectable.

Henry


PS... Yes, that was a long winded post to just say "I agree with Paul" ...
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Henry,
That's an interesting proposed law. I wonder what it would do to the "when does your job/contract" end question. Which isn't bad to ask at an interview because you want to know when the candidate is available. I guess it could be moved until after an offer was made.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Well, it looks like the US congress is starting to get involved....

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57404178-93/senators-ask-feds-to-probe-facebook-log-in-requests/

IMO, this may lead to companies backing down, and probable lawsuits from people who were forced to give passwords (and didn't get an offer). This could get really interesting...

Henry
Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
That's an interesting proposed law. I wonder what it would do to the "when does your job/contract" end question. Which isn't bad to ask at an interview because you want to know when the candidate is available. I guess it could be moved until after an offer was made.


This law is being proposed by the city -- so won't have the teeth of the federal regulations. I believe the main goal is to forbid the practice of not allowing the unemployed to apply for a position -- or use unemployment status as a way to cull the list. I don't believe there is any mention of not allowing companies to be able to ask about employment status -- as that is common for background checks.

Henry
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Posts: 11498
    
  16

Facebook itself has released a statement on this, which I can't find at the moment. They said revealing a password is a violation of their terms of service, and that it may open the company up to potential lawsuits. For example, if a person's profile implies they are gay, and the person is not hired, their is now a potential legal basis for them to sue...that doesn't mean they will win, but it does open the door to the suit.
Tim Holloway
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Posts: 16305
    
  21

A Modest Proposal. Whenever a legislator wishes to Remedy a Problem by passing a law, that person - and those who vote for the item in question - should be made to pay for it by the extraction of one cubic inch of flesh from their bodies. And, yes, blood included. We need laws, but if the current books are any indication, the price for getting them passed is far too low.

If there was one of those mythical Free Markets that people like to carp about (and most of them are pretty mythical, since positive feedback loops in the process tend to "Un"free markets), a suitably ironic response to companies that think that a chance of employment entitled them to plunder through other people's private documents would be to publish their identities on Facebook and hold them up as a warning to potential applicants.

Sadly, the employers (or potential employers) usually hold the whip hand, so about all that remains is legislation and lawsuits.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
chris webster
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Posts: 1872
    
  16

Looks like this story is going global - now on the UK Guardian newspaper website as well.
Mohamed Sanaulla
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  33

chris webster wrote:Looks like this story is going global - now on the UK Guardian newspaper website as well.

Same here, I read it in Times Of India (Bangalore, India edition) about such an ruling and government stepping in to find a solution.


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Jan de Boer
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Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 490
    
    1
Pff, my God, actually for the last ten years, with almost everything I have written in any newsgroup, or social media, I had in mind that at one moment in time your employer can somehow read this. Economical, capitalistic, power is as effective as communist security organizations were before 1990. I think it is a disgrace. Now this is why I do not like HR girls!

Jessica Margarate
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 25, 2012
Posts: 4
A logical conclusion. We started with this and giving your FB password is a natural progression. Next they will ask you to let them inspect your house before giving you the job.
Lexington Smith
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Joined: Sep 29, 2012
Posts: 67
Henry Wong wrote:
Here may be an interesting topic for the Job Discussion forum...

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-employers-seek-your-access-to-facebook-20120320,0,1581508.story

Apparently, some companies now require full access to facebook accounts as an requirement to apply for a job. What do you think?

Henry



I want to inspect those idiots accounting documents for fraud. What if they are doing some undercover fraud and will be eventually shut down a year later ?
Then, I will lose my job. I want almost all their documents to be revealed to me. I also want to know if the main chaps in the company have cancer or not or
an affair. It might affect me - employee stock options value for example. Do I now get to see their health records and FB accounts too ?


I will create a fake profile or code to generate fake profiles to deal with jerks like these.
 
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