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Employer Facebook Password Requests Suspended

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we-don't-want-them dept.

Privacy 209

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that Maryland's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has suspended a roughly year-old practice of asking prospective employees to voluntarily divulge their user names and passwords to social media Web sites such as Facebook. In a statement, the department said requests for user names and passwords had been voluntary, and had not been taken into account when evaluating job applicants. Nonetheless, 'in light of these concerns raised by the ACLU and because this is a newly emerging area in the law, the department has suspended the process of asking for social media information for 45 days to review the procedure and to make sure it is being used consistently and appropriately.'" We covered this story back when the ACLU took the case.

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209 comments

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Sure! (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292208)

I'll give them my password! But I was taught to change my password if I accidentally show it to someone, so I guess I should go change it now, too!

Re:Sure! (2, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292316)

no one will ever get my password see? ***** Thats all that happens when you type your password in give it a try?

Re:Sure! (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292440)

You can go uda=!CUsPe6ethu!uyE4Pu8a6@q3husWena6UxeFRa5rU67e my uda=!CUsPe6ethu!uyE4Pu8a6@q3husWena6UxeFRa5rU67e-ing uda=!CUsPe6ethu!uyE4Pu8a6@q3husWena6UxeFRa5rU67e!

Haha, does that look funny to you?

Re:Sure! (2)

An Anonymous Coward (236011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292470)

hunter2

Re:Sure! (1)

An Anonymous Coward (236011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292476)

doesnt look like stars to me

Re:Sure! (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292588)

That's because it's your password, all I see is stars. See: hunter2 hunter2 hunterfucking2

Re:Sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292818)

It kind of stops being funny when you hear it a few hundred times. Kind of like SPARTAAA or Chuck Norris jokes.

Re:Sure! (2, Interesting)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293094)

Except Chuck Norris jokes were never funny. They were that other thing...what was it, again...ah...stupid, that's it.

Re:Sure! (2)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293228)

Good thing we still have Bruce Schneier jokes. ;)

Why need the password (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292210)

The information is out there publicly anyway.

Re:Why need the password (2)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292276)

Not if the person has their account set to private (only their friends can see stuff).

Re:Why need the password (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292326)

Only friends and advertisers that facebook sell you to. Remember, at facebook, your information is the product.

Re:Why need the password (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292558)

God damn you're dumb. You really think your boss is going to buy information from an advertiser and then attempt to match it to you in real life as opposed to just get into your account (or browse to it) and look at it?

It's not like stuff you post on Facebook ends up being known by everyone on Earth instantly even when you have a private profile.

Re:Why need the password (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293320)

I didn't say any of that. Try a little reading comprehension.

Re:Why need the password (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292962)

Facebook does not sell your information to advertisers. The ads simply use information contained in Facebook. It is not given, nor transmitted, to the advertiser.

Re:Why need the password (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293308)

Yes, in fact, they do sell your information to advertisers.

Re:Why need the password (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292592)

That's true. Might as well make it wikifacebook, edit your friends wall, upload embarrassing photo, revert status.
Would this really be any less secure or private than facebook?

Flashlight under a rock (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292238)

Lesson: governments and corps never give up power unless forced to.

If they had their way, each citizen would be assigned a "minder" in addition to electronic ankle bracelets and GPS.

Re:Flashlight under a rock (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292406)

You say "they" as if the people who run the government are an entirely different species than everyone else. In the USA, "they" derive their power from the consent (albeit a rather apathetic consent) of the people "they" govern.

It is unfortunate, but a lot of the worst abuses of the rights and freedoms that Americans are supposed to have are widely supported by the people themselves. Try telling someone that the War on Drugs may not be constitutional, or that too many people are in jail, or that prison sentences are too long, or that the police have too much power, or that there are just too many laws, and see the sort of reaction that you will get; with the exception of my libertarian friends (I am not a libertarian), I am almost exclusively met with expressions shock when I make any such statements. The concept of a society in which our freedoms are not curtailed further with each passing year seems to make people uncomfortable; that is why the government gets away with it.

Re:Flashlight under a rock (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292576)

War on drugs? Done - many, many times. To many people in jail, most of them for the wrong reasons? Done. Prison sentences to long? Disagree with you - I believe serious offenders are slapped on the wrist to many times because the prisons are overburdened with petty offenders and drug offenders. Police to much power? Done, over and over again. To many laws? MOST CERTAINLY!!! We are basically in agreement - therefore, I know that you are a dangerous whacko. We should both report to the nearest re-education center I guess. Or, at least report ourselves to Napolitano.

Re:Flashlight under a rock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292762)

Learn the difference between "to" and "too" dammit!

Re:Flashlight under a rock (5, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292700)

"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

Re:Flashlight under a rock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292884)

Uh.. they aren't? Oh sure, they share our penchant for psychoses, albeit to a much greater degree. But those shoes! Those sunglasses! Shirley, you don't think they are genetically related to the common man?

P.S.: This is the last time I'll address you as "Shirley". From now on, you are simply "UHI://Bmpx22r$".

Re:Flashlight under a rock (3, Insightful)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293102)

You say "they" as if the people who run the government are an entirely different species than everyone else. In the USA, "they" derive their power from the consent (albeit a rather apathetic consent) of the people "they" govern.

I apologize in advance for being that guy that invokes Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] , but I think that the same result of governance-through-apathy could be shown to be a major part of most [wikipedia.org] antagonists [wikipedia.org] of human rights. [wikipedia.org]

I just wanted to point this out in the defense of other Americans like the OP, to show that it's nothing the Americans have done differently or worse - in fact I might argue that it's human nature. It doesn't detract from your point at all, I completely agree with you - but it's unrealistic at this point in history to be surprised by the apathy of the majority of any group of peoples.

Re:Flashlight under a rock (1)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292610)

The sad thing is this was not some big brother conspiracy. This policy was inspired by pure laziness -- a cheap way to do a background check. Instead of doing the work to interview, friends, colleagues, and employers to ensure the applicant has no gang affiliations, they used FB as a pre-screener for applicants.

A better policy.... (5, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292258)

Here is how I would implement a policy like that. I would ask, all applicants for their facebook username and password up front.

Then, everyone who gave it to me, would get a polite letter informing them that they did not get the job because they so easily violated the TOS of facebook, with whom they had a standing agreement before they applied with us. Thus, there is no way that we could trust them with access credentials on our system.

You failed the test, you are the weakest link, goodbye.

Re:A better policy.... (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292320)

Oh how I wish I had a mod point to give to this post. That is a perfect response.

Re:A better policy.... (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292360)

Same here..nice!

Re:A better policy.... (4, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292426)

You would be co-conspirators. Don't forget to punish yourself!

Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:
3.5:You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.
3.12:You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement.

Re:A better policy.... (2)

praxis (19962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292488)

Where did TheCarp state that he had agreed to those terms?

Re:A better policy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293298)

Could it not also qualify as tortious interference [wikimedia.org] on the part of the hypothetical employer? Especially since the employer demonstrates having read the Facebook agreement.

If so, it would not matter if the employer did not agree to the agreement because he or she wrongfully and intentionally caused the employee to violate the contract.

Re:A better policy.... (4, Insightful)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292492)

Those clauses only apply if you are a facebook user. Anyone who is not a facebook user is more than welcome to solicit all the login information they want. Just make sure your hiring board are all non-facebookers. Heck, make sure your entire company is non-facebookers. If the response to the facebook login info request is anything but "the requested information does not exist" then the potential hire is a no-go. It's a self-reinforcing process!

Re:A better policy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292940)

Actually that would lead to your company being composed of antisocial shut-ins. Just find the ugly nerd without a Facebook account and let him do that part of the hiring instead.

Re:A better policy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292498)

I'm pretty sure that "solicit login" would imply that you're using facebook services to get the logins. As someone who hasn't been to the site they can't agree to terms they've never seen.

Re:A better policy.... (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292510)

You would be co-conspirators. Don't forget to punish yourself!

Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: 3.5:You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else. 3.12:You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement.

That's absurd, if the boss never agreed to the Facebook TOS then he has in no way shape or form violated that agreement.

Re:A better policy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293224)

You would be co-conspirators. Don't forget to punish yourself!

Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:
3.5:You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.
3.12:You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement.

That's absurd, if the boss never agreed to the Facebook TOS then he has in no way shape or form violated that agreement.

Its not absurd at all. The boss MUST agree to the Facebook TOS to access your account. Yet by using your login info he has already violated the TOS.

Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

This Statement of Rights and Responsibilities ("Statement") derives from the Facebook Principles, and governs our relationship with users and others who interact with Facebook. By using or accessing Facebook, you agree to this Statement

Re:A better policy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293294)

You would be co-conspirators. Don't forget to punish yourself!

Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:
3.5:You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.
3.12:You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement.

but i do not have a facebook account, so i have never agreed to those terms, so i should be fine, right?

Re:A better policy.... (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292570)

Here is how I would implement a policy like that. I would ask, all applicants for their facebook username and password up front.

Then, everyone who gave it to me, would get a polite letter informing them that they did not get the job because they so easily violated the TOS of facebook, with whom they had a standing agreement before they applied with us. Thus, there is no way that we could trust them with access credentials on our system.

You failed the test, you are the weakest link, goodbye.

And anyone who passed the test, by refusing to divulge such information, should immediately turn down any job offer you give them.
No one with a brain would work for a company that dicks them around with "tests" like that.
They get enough of those mind games from their girlfriends.

Re:A better policy.... (2, Funny)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292984)

They get enough of those mind games from their girlfriends.

Sorry, as a Slashdotter, I have no experience with that. Could you repeat your post in the form of a car analogy?

Re:A better policy.... (5, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293104)

You know how when there's a problem with your car, any part of it, that engine light comes on? And then you can't figure out what the hell is really wrong, because all you got is the engine light? And then you start second guessing every little noise or bump, in your rush to get it to a garage to get it resolved, only to find out three hours later and $500, that a screw was loose?

That's a mind game.

Re:A better policy.... (1)

screwzloos (1942336) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292618)

I was thinking the exact same thing. Asking for an arbitrary username and password combination (like facebook) on a job application would sort those who at least mildly understand data security from those who are completely clueless. How could someone be trusted with corporate credentials if they don't protect their own?

I certainly wouldn't hire someone who filled those fields in, and would shred their application immediately to protect myself. Of course, one of their accounts (or entire identities) would get compromised anyways and I would probably get sued for it because that's the world we live in. Oh well. /pessimist

Re:A better policy.... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292680)

You also know too little about computer security to be trusted with important information our organization stores on a computer.

Re:A better policy.... (2, Funny)

UninformedCoward (1738488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292816)

"Aha ha ha. Oh, gosh that's funny. That's really funny. Do you write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. You are the weakest link goodbye. You know, I've never heard anyone make that joke before. Mmm. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference, reference that outside the program before. Because that's what she says on the show right? Isn't it? You are the weakest link goodbye. And yet, you have taken that and used it out of context, to insult me in this everyday situation. God what a clever, smart girl you must be, to come up with a joke like that all by yourself. Mmm, that's so fresh too. Any titanic jokes you want to throw at me while we're hitting these at the height of their popularity? Hmm? Cause... I'm here. God you're SO funny."

Re:A better policy.... (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293168)

Wow, flamebait mod for a Stewie quote. Mod isn't a Family Guy fan, I guess.

Re:A better policy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293282)

Well to be honest, Family Guy is even less funny than xkdc.

Oh, it was Voluntary! (2)

JohnMurtari (829882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292270)

I just love to hear that disclosure was voluntary when you were interviewing for a job! Sure, it's voluntary, don't tell us and you don't get the job. I'm not sure about private companies making that "voluntary" request -- but certainly not a government agency.

Re:Oh, it was Voluntary! (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292334)

Yeah it's "voluntary" like wearing 37 pieces of flair.

Re:Oh, it was Voluntary! (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292542)

It is voluntary in that it will not count against you; however, the information contained within another person's account may be considered positively for them, and thus they will be more competitive. Welcome to the standard deception of the people who invent these policies; notice that instead of saying, "OK, bad policy, we are rescinding it," they said, "OK, we'll stop to make sure that the information is only being used appropriately!" Everything about their response is meant to divert attention away from the fact that the policy itself is a problem.

Re:Oh, it was Voluntary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292688)

I just love to hear that disclosure was voluntary when you were interviewing for a job! Sure, it's voluntary, don't tell us and you don't get the job.

I'm not sure about private companies making that "voluntary" request -- but certainly not a government agency.

Well, paying income tax is "voluntary". [youtube.com] Of course if you don't "voluntarily" pay up then armed men [youtube.com] will kidnap you and lock you in a cage...

Re:Oh, it was Voluntary! (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293002)

I would be more inclined to give the login and password to my online banking account, than to my facebook account, but of these fall under the category of things that will be disclosed under torture or immediate threat of death. Then again, I won't ever be desperate enough to be applying for a job anywhere mentioned in TFA.

Here's what I'd say (2)

Konster (252488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292324)

Here's what I'd say:

User name: Fuck
Password: You

Re:Here's what I'd say (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292630)

Or simply that you don't have any of those types of account?

Re:Here's what I'd say (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292710)

Most people refuse to believe that I don't have a FB account ... LinkedIn is the only "social" media account I have, and that is for business purposes only.

Re:Here's what I'd say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292990)

There's also a potential problem if you do have an account, claim that you don't, and they'll come across your profile on the site.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd like to be employed by someone who doesn't believe my honest statement that I don't have an account. Or one that cares whether I do.

Nice Excuse (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292328)

It's a "newly emerging area in the law" so clearly we shouldn't use good judgement, proceed cautiously, consider ramifications or think.

Re:Nice Excuse (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292358)

Thinking is for the ruling class, peasant. Do what you're told.

Re:Nice Excuse (1, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292584)

The people doing this were bureaucrats in a department of a small state. If they are the ruling class, so is half of everybody else.

Re:Nice Excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292686)

Google, is that you?

Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid?) (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292362)

Wait, so "requests had been voluntary, and had not been taken into account when evaluating job applicants." If that statement is true then asking for the information serves absolutely no purpose at all. Seriously, was their only purpose to invade their employees privacy and put them in a potentially conflicting situation?!

If their statement is true then this raises even more serious questions about what this information was used for. If it was a lie then we need to ask why they feel they need to lie about this program (hint: it is illegal either way).

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (5, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292420)

do they think we're stupid?

They don't think you are stupid. They think the people they're hiring are stupid and have a passion for yielding/wielding command as part of a hierarchy with no regard to the consequences of their actions.

Considering they're hiring prison guards, that's a fair assumption.

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292862)

Considering they're hiring prison guards, that's a fair assumption.

They're hiring people to guard society's most violent people (murders, rapists, child molesters, etc). You don't want 'nice friendly chaps' doing that kind of work. I want the friendly people the state hires to work at the DMV or other places where dealing with the state sucks. I want prison guards to be able to control the prison population, which isn't done by saying please and thank you.

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292982)

Yeah, because half of the guards at the place i worked were either IN the military, or retired military. Quite a few were going to college part time, myself included. Even though i hated the job, the only reason i stayed as long as i did were my co-workers. If you think all prison guards are just power hungry police-squad drop-outs you show your ignorance very well.
But hey, lets just let all those child molesters, murderers, thieves etc, out and see how safe you feel.

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292432)

Oh, it is standard deception. No, they will not take into consideration whether or not you disclosed your username and password, but they will allow the information that such access would grant them to count for you in the interview. You were not rejected for failing to provide the username and password; you were rejected because someone you are competing with for the job did and they saw positive things in his profile.

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292500)

Lets face it, They say it has no bearing on the process but we all know it is BS.

Heck, 20 years ago I worked for Pinkerton. The hiring process had a list of "Optional" questions. Things like

What church do you attend?
Do you believe in the second coming of Christ?
Are you gay?
Are you the type of person to drop the hanky?
etc, etc

They make sure to state that it did not effect the hiring process, however, those that did not answer the questions were let go within 30 days of being hired. For me, I was asked to work 2 back to back 12 hour shifts, then dismissed for a dirty uniform.

Lets face it, if they have the information they will use it!

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292732)

Okay, I have to ask: "drop the hanky"? What the hell does that mean?

I'm trying to come up with some interpretation of that, and I suspect that my imagination is far, far dirtier than the actual meaning.

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292986)

I was wondering the same thing... It's not on urbandictionary

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293112)

Drop the hanky is a game where women drop a hanky and men pick it up. Baiscally a seduction game.

BTW the first time I was asked the question the only thing I could think of was drop the soap, so I said no.

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293194)

Strange, I made the original post and I did not know what it meant.

Re:Bullshit statement (do they think we're stupid? (4, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292608)

To be honest, I don't think it deserves such deep analysis.

It probably started off simply being "a good idea" dreamt up by some clueless middle manager to exert some power over potential minions but, as usual for 21st Century Management Trainees, he/she didn't even stop to consider the ramifications of such a decision when it came to privacy etc.

I bet if you go to them in 45 days time and ask them what they're decision is on the matter, you'll get a "What Facebook password issue?" response - this is because middle managers, being bereft of backbones, are incapable of just saying "Yep, I fucked up, it was a crap idea and sorry for causing such hassle."

...being used consistently and appropriately... (1)

eggsurplus (631231) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292364)

I'll make it easy. It's never appropriate to ask and expect a username and password from anyone. It doesn't take 45 days to figure that out. OK, maybe in the government it might. Better make the review process 180 days instead and create a committee dedicated to this issue.

Why? (1)

Gunkerty Jeb (1950964) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292366)

What legitimate reason could an organization have for needing this information? As in, they say: "Would you voluntarily give us your Facebook username and password?" I say (because I am a man, not a sheep): "Why?"

Not a problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292404)

Like I remember posting last time. Give them a facebook site to see. Gee, all my friends are 'meric luvin' God fearin' types who.... are all guards working for the department of corrections. 50 guards with a need for 50 friends have mutual aquaintences. Give them a site like to look at. Game them! Your private life is your business, not theirs. They can look at all of the pictures of your prison guard friends.

Yeah, right (2)

emt377 (610337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292412)

They could have my user names and logins, but not my passwords or any other credentials. Just asking would pretty much make at least me turn around and walk out, likely rather annoyed at having wasted my time on such losers. Why don't they ask for my address book and business card files while at it? Can I have theirs?

Appropriately? (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292448)

I am reasonably certain that what would be done in this case is to check everything you have ever done on Facebook. Also, all of those people should expect their security questions to have been changed just in case the passwords are changed someday.

Also, keeping the people working on this from fraping random people must be really hard, but they do it, right? Right?

I didn't think so either.

I wish I could tell you (4, Funny)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292472)

Andy Dufresne unfriended the Sisters and they let him be, but I can't.

Re:I wish I could tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292564)

Oh I wish I was a commenter and had mod points to give you. A+ on your blending of "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and Facebook terminology.

Now time for resignations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292520)

Whoever even considered this "practice" should be asked for their resignation or be fired. The whole thing is so blatantly a violation of rights that anybody who didn't realize that should not be working for the state.

that sounds familiar (2)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292534)

the department said requests for user names and passwords had been voluntary, and had not been taken into account when evaluating job applicants. Nonetheless, 'in light of these concerns raised by the ACLU and because this is a newly emerging area in the law, the department has suspended the process of asking for social media information for 45 days to review the procedure and to make sure it is being used consistently and appropriately.'"

"We're only asking about your religious preference because y'know, we're just *curious*. It has NOTHING to do with whether or not were going to hire you, really. So that's OK, right?"

Why expose yourself? (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292582)

Things like this are all the more reason to never use your real name on social networking sites, ever .

Re:Why expose yourself? (2)

Itesh (1901146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292670)

"Things like this are all the more reason to never use social networking sites, ever."
Fixed that for you ;)

Re:Why expose yourself? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292852)

But... what about all the hot chicks from high school that are trying to get in touch with me now?

No, I don't have a Facebook page... which is exactly what anyone should answer when asked for their Facebook info.

Employer - Employee in title (1)

sugarmotor (621907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292684)

"Employer Facebook Password Requests Suspended" should be "Employee Facebook Password Requests Suspended", no?

S

Re:Employer - Employee in title (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292772)

Actually, it should be "Government Agency Job Applicant Facebook Password Requests Suspended." Although that is a little long for a headline, it would have stopped posters on /. talking about this case as if it had something to do with corporations invading their employees privacy (not to say that they don't). The thought process behind this sort of idiocy is completely different when it involves government agencies than when it involves companies. It is not that companies don't do just as stupid of things, it is just that this sort of stupidity runs into pushback much faster in the private sector...and once it has been exposed for the stupidity it is, it very rapidly disappears from the private sector (that sometimes requires one or two court orders). In the public sector, this sort of idiocy will pop up again and again, even after courts have ruled against it.

Re:Employer - Employee in title (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293006)

So it wasn't the employees asking for their employers facebook credentials? This changes everything!

Total Bullshit (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292706)

Total bullshit from top to bottom. That's all I've got to say.

How voluntary can this really be? (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292718)

Here I am, in an interview, trying to impress you with my willingness to be a team player, and you ask me for my username and password. There is definitely pressure there to comply. If it's not being taken into account when evaluating employees, why is it asked? That just reeks of falsehood.

A little love for the ACLU? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292728)

Anybody (American) who cares about these kinds of issues should send a thank you in the form of a few dollars to the ACLU. When the government tries pulling this kind of bullshit, they're the ones who have your back.

Curious (1)

ChasmCoder (1818172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292778)

I find it interesting that this post ever had to exist in the first place. What, would possess anyone to even consider requesting that information in the first place? Those comments about being a security test, I could see that to an extent. I think, that a wise would be employee, should reverse the questions and in the spirit of openness and trust request the facebook login username and password of the individual requesting theirs. Alas, then they would both be in violation of the TOS and since this post is about "...Facebook Password Requests Suspended..." that it is a a moot point anyhow, I suppose.

Re:Curious (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292868)

I thought using someone else's account was "terrorism".

Also, even if you handed over your user/pass, if you said you didn't want them logging on and they did, wouldn't that be a criminal hacking charge?

Someone recently got 5 years of prison for using the user/pass for his wife's email account that she had on a post-it next to the computer.

Re:Curious (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292874)

Yeah, I do that every time I get pulled over by the police... "Sure, officer... let me see YOUR license and registration first!"

I'll be getting out of jail next month...

While you're at it (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292812)

While you're at it, we'll need a key to your home. At your discretion, we'd also like a full copy of your personal diary for our records.

Okay, great. Now strip for the camera and bend over. This will only take a minute or two.

That's Why Everyone Needs 20 Facebook Pages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35292822)

Just be sure to use "handles" for all of them so that a search for your real name doesn't turn any of your others up. You got one for the employer, one for the parents, one for your kids to look you up on, one to give Ghadafi's thugs before they smash your other knee into pulp with that rock, etc.

Soviet tactics (2)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292830)

Is it that the Soviet Empire has been forgotten by the masses without education?

Because in The Day this type of behaviour was according to US politicians only expected from communist dictatorships.

This type of behaviour includes the ban on Unionisation in Wisconsin, 30 years ago US diplomats, politicians and the free press would have had a field day blasting such policies.
Would Barack Obama today be the same man he was during his presidential campaign he'd be drawing blood among the officials responsible for those infractions against general human rights.
Or just imagine how Ronald Reagan would have responded...

The bottom line is: the USofA does not have any useful privacy legislation.

Re:Soviet tactics (0)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293068)

This type of behaviour includes the ban on Unionisation in Wisconsin, 30 years ago US diplomats, politicians and the free press would have had a field day blasting such policies.

Not only is there no ban on unionization, there is not even a ban on private unionization. The issue is with unions of public workers having collective bargaining for pension benefits. Collective bargaining would still be in place for wages, working conditions, etc.

Re:Soviet tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293278)

Because in The Day this type of behaviour was according to US politicians only expected from communist dictatorships.

30 years ago US diplomats, politicians and the free press would have had a field day blasting such policies.

Yes but most people realised the irony of them saying that while still dealing with institutional racism and sexism on a daily basis.

And please don't insult me by pretending that's an issue from the past - if it's not because you're a woman, it's not because you're black, it's not because you're 'oriental', it's not because you're a 'hippy'/rep/dem/lib/, it's not because you're the wrong kind of christian, then it's because you're Arab, muslim, pro civil rights (read 'paranoid survivalist'), atheist or PC (or Mac :p) - the prejudice just needs to stop completely for anything to be solved. It's not even logically sound, yet I constantly hear whispered judgements, based on loose associations with unpopular things, from otherwise extremely intelligent people - especially on /.

Get over the fear, regain your dignity and have some respect for yourself by putting a little bit of thought into how you form your opinions on people. (not aimed at the parent, but at every single sodding person that exists - all of us can get better at this).

Internet privacy? (1)

WeeBit (961530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292854)

There is no privacy online. The Internet is our biggest postcard. Treat it as such.

Online Security never really has been secure for all. There are many levels of risk. Social risk is just one of the many.

In other news. (1)

GottMitUns (1012191) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292954)

The U.S. Attorney's office in Baltimore confirmed that there have been arrests in a federal investigation into police corruption. Vicki LeDuc with the U.S. Attorney said she can only confirm that there have been arrests of city police officers and it involves a corruption investigation. She declined to say more.

Said the Anonymous Coward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293038)

As if I can't create two facebook accounts, and give them the sock puppet of my own choosing. ...and if I didn't use Facebook, wouldn't the account I give be a sock puppet anyway?

Fizzle (2)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293052)

I don't have a Facebook account. No, really, I don't. Now what? I don't get hired? Sounds like a lawsuit to me.

Stupid stupid stupid stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293246)

Welcome to America.

Bend over.

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