Employers and Colleges Asking to see Social Network Activity

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This morning a read a story on MSNBC that got me all fired up: Govt. agencies, colleges demand applicants’ Facebook passwords.

It talks about potential employers and schools asking for access to view facebook/twitter accounts either by logging in during an interview or by friending an official.  This is not OK; it shouldn’t be happening on any level and the fact that it’s going on is an invasion of privacy.

If you go through the time to set certain things on private, they should stay private. If you can’t ask personal questions during an interview, Facebook should be off limits as well, so long as it’s set to private by the user.

Everyone should be aware of what’s happening and of your rights in these cases. Unfortunately, there isn’t a law against this yet (unless you can make the argument that it answers illegal job interview questions) but you can always ask the interview why they want access and how it applies to the job. If they can’t make their case, kindly refuse their request and remind them about the kind of questions that are off limits during interviews.

If you’d rather not deal with that kind of confrontation, you could always say you don’t have a Facebook account, or create a “professional” one that you use to show interviewers. The point, however, is that employers and schools should not be asking for this information in the first place.