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Senators Ask Feds To Probe Facebook Log-in Requests

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-friend-list-of-mine dept.

Facebook 396

thomst writes "Cnet's Michelle Meyers reports that democratic senators Richard Blumenthal and Charles Schumer have asked the Justice Department to investigate what they call a 'new disturbing trend' of prospective employers demanding job applicants to turn over user names and passwords for their social networks. 'Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries — why should they be able to ask them for their Facebook passwords and gain unwarranted access to a trove of private information about what we like, what messages we send to people, or who we are friends with?' asked Schumer. Last Friday, in response to complaints from employees, Facebook published a post expressing its opposition to the practice, which it said undermines both the security and the privacy of the user and the user's friends. Erin Egan, the company's chief privacy officer for policy, offered that employers who demand password information for prospective employees might just end up getting sued."

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Frist Psot (5, Funny)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473825)

Posted from my employee's account

Re:Frist Psot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473887)

Dude! You could get sued!

Posted from parent's employee's account

Pah! Antisocial network (5, Interesting)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473861)

Pah! So what happens to people like me with no social network? The can't ask me to send something I don't have.

Whereas, I am legitimately not on any social network. I wonder if they could prove otherwise for people who are.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Insightful)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473917)

Oh, and yes... I know they can search for you if you use your real name and have a public profile. That to me seems silly. If I were on a social network it would be under an alias and would be private so they couldn't search for me.

Yes, I know- technically aliases arn't allowed... but facebook would have no better way of knowing my real name was not Billy Bob Beerhouse then Slashdot would that my real name isn't Oswald McWeany.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474409)

I'd probably have two. One "family friendly" for... well, you know, family. And one for friends who neither family nor employer should encounter.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473919)

You don't get hired. You're either an anti-social nut or you lie about not having an account. Sure this may not be true, but 99.9% of the time it will be.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1, Informative)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474117)

99.9% of the people who don't have facebook are anti-social nuts?

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474207)

I may be anti-social, but I am not a nut and my reasons to avoid the plague of social networking are that
a) I don't want to waste tons of time and
b) I don't want to give _them_ all my data.
c) What is the point? Having thousands of "friends" to cover up I am anti-social?

Fortunately, I am pretty sure that here such a demand by an employer would be illegal (possibly criminal) anyways. They can have a social networking policy though, that limits what you can post about them. And you are not allowed to bad-mouth your employer in public anyways.

Side note: This is exactly why pseudonymous accounts are needed.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474291)

Side note: This is exactly why pseudonymous accounts are needed.

They aren't necessary. I could create five new accounts using disposable email addresses in a matter of minutes.

But besides that, it's pointless. It's an unnecessary inconvenience. Sure, there are some trolls, but they can be easily ignored. It's not the end of the world if you come across a troll post.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (2)

JATMON (995758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474253)

What's wrong with being an anti-social nut? I thought that was a prereq of being a good systems administrator.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473947)

HR presumably just assumes that you are either telling the truth, and must be a radical isolationist living in a mountain cabin amidst heaps of antigovernment screeds and bomb-making apparatus, or lying because your real facebook profile is nothing but pictures of you doing things that would Reflect Poorly On the Reputation Of The Company. Circular file.

Anybody who feels comfortable demanding extremely intrusive access to personal information will likely not even think twice about assuming that anybody who isn't as transparent as the norm probably has something to hide.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474177)

Anybody who feels comfortable demanding extremely intrusive access to personal information will likely not even think twice about assuming that anybody who isn't as transparent as the norm probably has something to hide.

Anybody who feels comfortable providing extremely intrusive access to personal information will likely not even think twice about providing strangers access to company confidential data, and should not be hired.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474277)

I know this is a joke, but this is the type of B.S. conclusion that H.R. folks are now TRAINED to jump to. There are tons of these.

The one that has been making me angry lately is: "the person sent their resume in PDF so we will throw it away since they must not know Office and thus be computer illiterate." It's the exact OPPOSITE of what you want as the person probably used PDF to be friendly to cross platforms. I had a recruiting officer give me a lecture about this while I was job hunting. I don't even own a copy of Microsoft Office.

I think H.R. procedure is akin to voodoo right now.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473949)

You are on slashdot.

You can friend people, have a journal, post articles and discuss crap.

You are on a social network.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474035)

Ah but I am guessing your resume doesn't list "/. UID Nadaka (224565)" as a contact method.
It could, but most people do not do that.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474217)

Nor do people do that for Facebook. I'm not sure what your point is.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Informative)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474049)

I am not on slashdot.

Oswald McWeany is on slashdot. Oswald McWeany is just a random name taken from combining two names on a children's TV show with a "Mc" thrown in for fun. Good luck connecting my real name to Oswald.

Even my e-mail account that created the Oswald McWeany account uses a different made-up-name.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474119)

But it is still you on the social network, even if you aren't using your name. If an employer asked for your social network information and you don't tell them about Slashdot, then they would be correct to assume you had lied to them.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474309)

What a useless social network this is.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474281)

People always ask me why I act like such a douche on Slashdot. Now I know why; could you please stop using my name?

-- Sincerely, Oswald McWeany

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474343)

wow your cool

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474301)

But an H.R. drone isn't going to know what slashdot is.

To H.R. drone, not knowing what something is means it is not important. Therefore you're at the same outcome.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473981)

Pah! So what happens to people like me with no social network? The can't ask me to send something I don't have.
Asking for your facebook password is the modern equivalent of asking that you turn over your "Little Black Book" or your Dayrunner (Remember those?) to the company. This goes far beyond what an upstanding company would do, but is not illegal. This is one of those areas where there is no law because you shouldn't have to legislate common sense. Unfortunately, it looks like we are going to have to make a law because common sense seems to have gone extinct.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (2, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474027)

Seriously? Just because you're antisocial and do not care about being on a social network because of your tinfoil hat does not mean the rest have to follow suit.

No matter what social network I'm on, it is reasonable to expect a semblance of privacy, especially if any information I share is for consumption only within my friends in that network.

While I'm unsearchable on Facebook, most of my friends on Facebook are from college and there's a certain degree of immaturity in our interaction. However, that is in no way representative of any of us in real life, and judging how we interact with our close friends from college is just silly.

So yes, you can have your tinfoil hat and not be a part of any social network. You can also hide yourself. But that defeats the purpose -- the idea is to interact and be *social* with others that you meet.

But that in no way should affect my expectation of privacy. What I share publicly is one thing, but forcing me to share what I share with a close circle of friends is plain wrong. And I will fight tooth and nail to keep my privacy.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (3, Insightful)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474139)

Seriously? Just because you're antisocial and do not care about being on a social network because of your tinfoil hat does not mean the rest have to follow suit.

---------------

I've found aluminium blocks the rays better.

If you are unsearchable then you don't exist. Thus nothing to hand them.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (2, Insightful)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474355)

Just because you're antisocial and do not care about being on a social network because of your tinfoil hat does not mean the rest have to follow suit.

Why exactly do you assume he's antisocial? Why do you assume he's wearing a tinfoil hat? What if someone doesn't care about social networks, like me? I just don't find them useful.

I know it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend that different people have different preferences and needs, but come on.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (5, Informative)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474069)

You can be fired in most jurisdictions for lying on a resume, if it's proven, so I'd be carefull with that.

Facebooks Terms of Use prevent you from providing your password to another. "You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account."
Anyone using Facebook agrees with this the same as they do any other EULA or agreement. Any potential employer who requests your password is asking you to break the legal agreement that you have with Facebook before you can work for them.
http://www.facebook.com/legal/terms?ref=pf

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474311)

You can be fired in most jurisdictions for lying on a resume, if it's proven, so I'd be carefull with that.

I wouldn't put "I am not on a social network" on my resume.
I'd be surprised if many people listed the social networks to which they belong/didn't belong on their resume.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474417)

Really easy for you to say when you have not been on unemployment for over a year, your wife is about ready to leave you, your house is in foreclosure, repo guys are going to come take your car away, and the collection agencies you around the clock demanding you pay them back and harassing your family members.

In such a scenario is unfortunately, very typical in this economy for those who got laid off at the absolute worst time.

What are you going to do? So no sir Mr. potential boss. You can kiss my ass. My wife will gladly accept this, and my kids really didn't need to be fed anyway etc.

You will do it and not only will you bend over, but you will be happy with no lube and have a big smile on your face. Anything is better than not working right?

Employers are taking advantage of people in a bad situation and it is disgusting. I know I am an evil socialist for dare saying the government get involved, but this is where it is a good case to do so. This is not 1999 anymore where employers compete with you if have any reasonable talent. Today, they do not care and can under pay, overwork, and make unreasonable demands because their competitors are doing it and why not?

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474187)

What will happen will be similar to what happened to me when I was job hunting a couple years back:

The HR person will narrow their eyes once they get the answer that you don't have a FB account and ask, "If you are a so called IT person who is applying for something better than flipping burgers, then why are you not keeping up with modern day technology? Why should we hire a fossil, when any middle school kid can understand the concept of a social network, which you have demonstrated that you have failed to do so?"

I ended up creating dummy accounts on FB/MySpace/Twitter/LinkedIn just so I wouldn't have to deal with that crap. When asked if they could friend/follow the account, I just granted that.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (3, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474333)

That's silly. You should have explained to them that you don't need to belong to a social network to understand the concepts. And if they can't understand that, you should grab the nearest large object and bash their head in until they do. And then tell them they are too stupid to work for and spit on them as you leave.

Seriously, though. Any HR person who can't understand that using and understanding are different things will just cause you endless trouble if you were to be an employee. It's best to turn those jobs down.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474389)

Have you looked for a job recently? HR = silly.

Go ahead and flame, but it's an entire profession of people who are 95% incompetent.

Code Monkey (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474399)

That's silly. You should have explained to them that you don't need to belong to a social network to understand the concepts. And if they can't understand that, you should grab the nearest large object and bash their head in until they do.

Code Monkey not say it... out loud. Code Monkey not crazy... just proud.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (4, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474199)

Pah! So what happens to people like me with no social network? The can't ask me to send something I don't have.

Whereas, I am legitimately not on any social network. I wonder if they could prove otherwise for people who are.

Potential Employer: "Er, so you are saying you're not part of any social network online whatsoever?"

You: "Yes, that is correct."

(Potential Employer quietly checks the box next to "Does not play well with others", and upon conclusion of the interview, places your resume in the "don't bother" pile)

Think they really need to "prove" anything at all? Companies that stoop to this level of valuation of a potential employee obviously have their priorities screwed up, so don't be shocked if this kind of crap actually goes on.

Social networks performing social engineering on society. Gotta love watching the brainwashing of the masses.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474249)

You're on Slashdot though... Wait, that's not legitimate, sorry.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474369)

Honestly, although slashdot has some features of social networks I've never considered it a social network. News aggregator/blog... there are several things I would call it ahead of "social network".

Even though it has those capabilities- I've never used it as a social network- I've not used the friend/foe/journal/personal blog sections.

I will sometimes search using google. That doesn't mean I'm part of Google+.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (2)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474307)

I do not have a Facebook profile or the like. If I was asked for login credentials, I would simply say no you can not have them, state that I would not want to work for a company that believed this was a legitimate request and walk out.

Whether you have a profile somewhere or not, the request for credentials tells you everything you need to know about a place.

Re:Pah! Antisocial network (5, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474377)

I do well in interviews. Always have, and probably always will. It's the smile, the handshake and my unwillingness to bullshit.

Some businesses just want to tell you how great they are. Some people just want to tell you how great they are; how they've climbed the ladder - "You too could be a fat manager on 50k if you turn yourself into a lying slob like me!" No, not me, you're mistaken.

Other businesses just stick to the questions, one after another after another. These are the hardest. They don't care that I'm not planning to be here in five years, and can't understand me not wanting to answer the question. ("I need a job to pay the bills", was an actual answer that landed me one job. Ask me that question again after I've worked for you for a month).

The best interviews are always friendly chats.

My point? Interviews are a two-way process. They want to know about me and, this is the part some don't understand, I want to know about them.

What was your turnover last year? And the year before? (are you going to be around next year?)

Why did this vacancy become available? Why did the other person leave? (is this a shit job? Are they willing to bullshit me?)

What are the staff turnover rates? (is this whole place shit?)

Can I have your Facebook password? (never been asked, but if they want mine...)

Ask questions. Ask why. Ask it five times. And remember that bullshit stinks. It may take a while to reach your nose but it stinks all the same. Everyone knows the smell.

its a test (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473873)

anybody that is dumb enough to give out their facebook password would be a huge security risk for the company. They don't get hired but we sure have fun with their accounts.

Re:its a test (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474357)

Welcome to the paradox of H.R. People with procedures virtually guaranteed to get you a bad candidate.

In most cases they are asking for it to snoop, not as a security test. Most of them aren't that savvy.

stuff like this opens disability & discriminat (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473877)

stuff like this opens employers to disability & discrimination issues. So they should even be asking for them or looking at your page any ways.

Re:stuff like this opens disability & discrimi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474331)

In theory, this is true. However in reality, this is impossible to prove. An HR droid deciding not to hire someone because the prospective employee clicked the "like" button on a picture saying "why should we press 1 for English?" will not be sued successfully about it in today's economy ever. The only way a lawsuit could happen is if someone was videotaped saying racial slurs about a candidate.

They have every right to ask. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473883)

But you have every right to tell them to fuck off.

Re:They have every right to ask. (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474161)

Does the same apply for religion, sexuality, etc?

Don't take the job then. (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473891)

If you don't want to hand over that information, then don't. If employers hear this enough, then maybe they will start to smarten up. If the only people they can hire are the ones stupid enough to give up their Facebook passwords, they probably won't be getting any great employees. That said, there's a lot of people who will probably feel they have no other choice. Just like employers often require drug tests, references, and personality tests. You could always tell them you don't have an account. Being in a technology related field, I think it would be an interesting test of somebody's security/privacy mentality to ask them for their password, with no intention to use it, but those who refuse to give the password are probably the ones you want to hire.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473931)

The First rule of hiring. It is better to let many excellent applicants not get the job then hire a bad employee.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473955)

The Second rule of hiring: Hire stupid people who will do what you say and who you can blame when what you told them to do did not work.

Re:Don't take the job then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474095)

Third rule of hiring: If there are no "qualified" local candidates, there's always a H1B.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474407)

Forth rule of hiring: There are no qualified local candidates.. ever.

Re:Don't take the job then. (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473959)

The First rule of hiring. It is better to let many excellent applicants not get the job then hire a bad employee.

If you want to end up with a company of mediocre employees.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474047)

If you want to end up with a company of mediocre employees.

Half the companies are always going to be below median no matter how much downsizing you do...

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474419)

H.R. procedure.

We need to fire these people and do the hiring ourselves. I don't care if it takes more time. If I am ever lucky to run a business this is how I will do it, and I a guarantee you I'll have the best staff of anyone.

Re:Don't take the job then. (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473979)

Second rule is that "in this economy" there are 20 qualified applicants for each opening. So pulling another name out of a hat isn't going to be a problem.

There are monetary costs... So the local printing company has been advertising for a CCIE for $50K for years (this is no exaggeration truth BTW I distantly know the people involved) as part of their H1B filing process... If the H1B guy refused to give up his FB password got 50K/yr, the monetary cost might be $51K/yr for the next guy, who is willing to give up his account info.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473985)

Yeah, but the people willing to give access to their facebook are probably all the wrong people, so if that's your filter, then you're just left with the the applicants who you wouldn't want anyway. I agree that interviews should be difficult and I understand the logic of turning down seemingly good people on the risk they aren't as great as they seem at first glance. However, make sure your requirements don't filter out all the good employees.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474097)

However, make sure your requirements don't filter out all the good employees.

This misses the point that many/most job postings are asking for con men and liars.
A dumb set of hyperspecific job requirements sometimes means they're just dumb, sometimes means they're doing a H1B posting requirement, and sometimes means they're looking for someone with a flexible attitude toward legality and the truth.

In quite a few fields and companies, legal and ethical does not equal your assumption of good employee.

Re:Don't take the job then. (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474013)

I recently did a job search and had numerous offers none of which asked for my social media logins. If they had asked I would have moved on to the next.

That said, if it came down to it I'd have "William Roehl" on Facebook and I'd keep my Bill Roehl account for my usual FB needs. While my FB account has nothing questionable aside from birth announcements to family/friends which could be used against me, I'd be happy to hand over the l/p to a completely empty account.

They want to play stupid games? I can play stupid games better than they can.

Simple fact of the matter is, however, if a company wants this crap they really aren't worth working for.

Re:Don't take the job then. (0)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474023)

If you don't want to hand over that information, then don't. If employers hear this enough, then maybe they will start to smarten up.
But employers won't hear "no" enough. There are plenty of people out there who would just hand over the passwords. Why? Well, why not? Unfortunately, the younger generation has been taught that their privacy is unimportant. Heck if they were concerned about handing over the keys to their facebook account, they are probably the sort of person who would have been concerned about having a facebook account in the first place.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

calgar99 (856142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474099)

If you don't want to hand over that information, then don't. If employers hear this enough, then maybe they will start to smarten up.

Not a fan of this approach. There will always be enough people stupid/desperate enough to do such things. Then it will become standard/mandatory practice.

Re:Don't take the job then. (5, Informative)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474125)

I think the way I would put it is this:

"I'm going to say no to you, potential employer, and here is why you should hire me over those who applicants who comply. When people add me as a friend and grant me access to their page, they are trusting me with information. When they contact me privately, they are trusting me not to share what they say. If, in the future, I were to leave this company and a future company asked me for confidential secrets regarding your business, you would rightfully expect that I would decline to cooperate. The fact that I am risking an employment opportunity by declining to cooperate with you here shows you that I am a trustworthy person, even under duress, and other candidates who cooperate with you are not so much."

Re:Don't take the job then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474297)

Mod points would be nice here. This is exactly the attitude you should have and a decent way of expressing this attitude towards your interviewer. Maybe someone could come up with a better way of saying it, but this is pretty good.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474327)

Being in a technology related field, I think it would be an interesting test of somebody's security/privacy mentality to ask them for their password, with no intention to use it, but those who refuse to give the password are probably the ones you want to hire.

That may be true, but (assuming your working in a large enough company to have them) HR drones will have the opposite mentality, and assume that anybody that won't tell them all about their private life must be a bad choice. Never mind that such questions may be illegal.

Re:Don't take the job then. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474393)

You would be surprised. In this economy, even people with a clue are looking for a job, and they have to fight against people with far less skills, but are far more willing to do anything asked of them by an employer, laws be damned.

When I was looking for work, I told more than one company where to stick it when the HR rep demanded a password and said that if a candidate wasn't doing something illegal or immoral, they would hand it over. The classic, "if you didn't have something to hide" type of BS.

In a firm that wasn't run by "poo-poo heads" (as a friend's daughter calls them), if someone was going to turn over their personal info (E-mail passwords, FB, other IDs) just on asking, there would be no way in Hell they would be hired. Just think what that person would do with company logins and such if someone else offered them more money.

Simplest solution (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473915)

Do not have a Facebook account. If you are denied a job over that, it is probably not the sort of place you want to be working.

Re:Simplest solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474051)

Do not have a Facebook account. If you are denied a job over that, it is probably not the sort of place you want to be working.

So, what if they ask for your /. account/password?

Re:Simplest solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474175)

Why do you anti-social fuckerlords not realize that not being on Facebook is not a *solution*, it's simply -avoiding the problem- with your employer? The real solution is to walk away from the interview.

Our houses, yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473923)

Thats why the Freedom Box is the way forward, not Facebook
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gORNmfpD0ak

Facebook, who cares (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473935)

Facebook, who cares. I used it for 6 months, net effect slight negative (lots of wasted time, nothing productive happened because of FB) so I deleted it some years back. I'm not so worried about HR floozies asking for my facebook account. I do worry about clueful supervisor asking for my /. account login and/or name. That could be awkward. "Looking for senior sysadmin, /. UID below 100K preferred, no eight digit UID noobs or goatse posters please"

I think the real concern is FB is/was/will sell, at some expense, full access to anyones account for HR purposes, and they're pissed off that some HR floozies are sneaking around to backdoor their profitable little sales channel. If I tell Ms H R Floozie my password and she logs in as me, how is FB supposed to send HR a $250 bill for social network consultative services, Ms Floozie has already seen all my furry pics and fan status for the NORML page, so she's not about to pay FB to learn the same thing...

FBs only hope is to sell full access to not just my account, but full access to all my friend's accounts... I can give Ms HR Floozie my complete login info, but not me friend's info. Although I suppose asking applicants to ask their FB friends for their login info is the next logical step against that.

One possible hope for FB is to stock the hell out of FB with all kinds of protected stuff, like orientation (thats protected, isn't it?) and race and especially religion, and then crucify people (err, HR I mean) in the courts if they fail to hire someone who is a christian/jew/black on their uncensored page. They can sell access to a carefully censored for legal purposes portal for HR to use that somehow magically removes all references to Jehovah and the flying spaghetti monster.

Speaking of the FSM, his G+ page is better than I expected.

Re:Facebook, who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474203)

You seem very delusional.. Facebook cannot sell your [identified] private information to anyone, and I'm surprised someone with such a low UID would write this.

Re:Facebook, who cares (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474405)

Facebook cannot sell your [identified] private information to anyone

LOL. As if. Laws only apply to little people not corporations.

One interesting way around releasing my private data would be word hit lists:
"Given the combination of our standard business word list, and your corporate word list, the top 5 words used by vlm are: linux, debian. pr0n, floozie, and warez. The top 5 words used by vlm's friends such as Anonymous Coward are goatse, pr0n, the F word, firearms, and more pr0n."

Another fun one would be categorized percentages. 0% of vlm's posts contain drug and alcohol references (beer, weed, 420, etc), 5% of vlm's posts contain pr0n references (goatse, etc), 10% of vlm's posts contain linux related references (debian, gpl, etc), and 25% of vlm's posts contain linux pr0n related references (nude RMS, etc)

Drawing the line (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473939)

A lot of my co-workers are friends on Facebook, and I've received requests from them to be friends. I politely declined, explaining that I like to keep a strict line between my work & my private life. If I was applying for a job and they did not want to respect my desire for some form of privacy, I'd probably just throw out the application. If it was during an interview, I'd probably tell them "Thanks, but no thanks" and walk out.

Employee Rights - Never really understood (2)

MadX (99132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473941)

I think this is where the actual rights of an employee, are never really understood by said people. There are probably many other examples where companies have violated laws regarding their workforce, because of what I perceive to simply be insecurities on the part of the company.

In short - companies get scared that their name will be tainted from the inside, and so they are willing to go above (or below) the law to try and "protect" their image. So it's good to see that lawmakers are standing up and taking note. Now, just to educate those who don't read tech sites :)

How else will employers weed out undesirables? (2, Interesting)

rednip (186217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473975)

How else will employers weed out undesirables?

Background checks that will include posting on public forums, likely even ones which used aliases. Thanks to third party tracking cookies many are already able to match up people with their 'anonymous', eventually someone will monetize it by allowing searches through decades of posting.

Re:How else will employers weed out undesirables? (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474283)

Gotta love "Ghostery" and NoScript.

Who is actually doing this? (5, Insightful)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473977)

I'm hearing a lot about this, but I have yet to actually find someone who will confirm that they've been asked to hand over their account information. While I agree that employers should not be asking for this information, I suspect that a lot of this noise is just noise.

I want to see people name names. List the companies that are asking for usernames and passwords.

PSA: post only what you want the world to know (4, Informative)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473989)

This is a public service announcement with some food for thought regarding Facebook and similar sites.

Do not post anything on these sites that you do not want the world to know!

1. User agreements. Almost all of these sites retain ownership to what you post. They can re-sell or re-publish the material later, like Twitter, and there is no guarantee that your privacy settings will be intact.

2. Follow the money. Search engine advertising is falling because it is not targeted, but social networks are easily targeted for advertising. Your data will be sold, and if it's anonymized, there's no guarantee that the anonymization will be done so completely that it won't be easy to correlate your anonymized data to your public profiles.

3. It's easy to get to your data. If your friends let in someone who's crazy, that data will be public.

4. Security is not guaranteed. These sites can get hacked and their data published, a la Wikileaks. Even if the data isn't public, it will be for sale to people including the security firms that your future employers will want.

5. People are stupid. They think it's funny, and they re-share your stunts and exploits, and then there's the picture of you naked beer bonging on your supervisor's desk.

Think defensively and don't trust large corporations like Google and Facebook with your data.

Nobody says that you have to work there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474009)

If you don't like a potential employer's hire/rehire practices than perhaps you should look for a job elsewhere. Most of the employers are working in law enforcement type of outfits anyway, so it's important that gang contacts and such are known prior to heiring someone. How else are these employers supposed to screen their candidates in today's highly networked world? This is America and anyone who doesn't like it can just leave and move to some liberal socialist country in Europe.

People look at this the wrong way (2)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474205)

Most job seekers see themselves as recipients and have a slave mentality of being grateful for any job at all. In my experience, this is like walking alone in a dark alley with RAPE ME written on your back in 1,024 point lipstick. You need to make your job choice a mutual decision, or they're going to treat you like a disposable employee.

Think about it this way. You don't receive a job, you agree to take one. You should be choosy. If you're broke and unemployed, take a job on a temporary basis. Don't stop looking. The people who hate their jobs perceive that they have no options. That perception probably started the minute they assumed that they had to take any job they were offered.

What this means related to employers probing your Facebook account is that you should reject any employer that does anything you find questionable. Be choosy and find a better employer. They will have you sign an NDA and an agreement about maintaining the company image outside the firm and leave it up to you to implement.

Easy enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474025)

Create empty account, give password.

Why would you want to worth there ? (2)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474033)

This is a lose/lose situation on both sides:

  • * employee: do you want to work in such a place where your employer ask you for personal information
  • * company: unless you want to staff your company with only yes-men, and stupid people, you do not want to do this

I just do not get it

So you're going to hire these people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474037)

And the first thing your IT Dept. is going to the tell them is "Never share your passwords with anyone".

Right.

And the real problem... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474057)

Unfortunately, whether this practice is 'legal' or 'illegal' is only going to be of limited interest for anybody who doesn't have sufficient skills, and the right kind, to make it a seller's market for their services. There are occasional exceptions, when somebody screws up and is a bit too overt about what they think of cripples, or where they like their women, or what they think of uppity darkies at work; but the overwhelming majority of the time, when somebody doesn't shove their foot in their mouth and start chewing like a moron on the record, it isn't exactly hard to apply whatever hiring criteria you want and then provide a perfectly legal justification.

Assuming that this is in fact illegal(or at least against Facebook ToS and in Facebook's interest to get their lawsuit on), only an idiot would persist in having a demand for Facebook credentials as part of their on-the-record hiring practices. However, there are ever. so. many. voluntary. ways. of determining whether or not somebody is the sort of 'team player who is a good fit with our company culture'. I'm sure that hiring minions will reliably employ them(not, of course, because management pressured them in any way, should somebody discover this, oh no, of course not.)

So long as it's a buyer's market for you(and the numbers aren't getting any rosier) state protection isn't 100% useless; but it is far less helpful than one would like.

Proving yourself untrustworthy (5, Informative)

mahler3 (577336) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474063)

If you give a prospective employer your password, you're proving that you can't be trusted. Mike Loukides said it well. [oreilly.com]

Re:Proving yourself untrustworthy (1)

gblfxt (931709) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474241)

this and you have no backbone, standing up to a prospective employer can be seen as a good thing.

Re:Proving yourself untrustworthy (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474379)

Indeed. Sorry, I have no mod points, but that link sums it up pretty good.

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474085)

How about a probe in to how companies use people's credit reports for hiring decisions?

How is that OK but looking at people's facebook page NOT?

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474163)

Because people post stuff on their Facebook pages that prospective employers are barred by law from asking about.

Warn them your profile contains off-limits info. (5, Insightful)

Br00se (211727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474089)

I don't know about other countries, but in the US, employers may not ask about the following.

        Race
        Color
        Sex
        Religion
        National origin
        Birthplace
        Age
        Disability
        Marital/family status

Let the person asking the question know that by asking for the Facebook information, they are using a back door approach to gather information they are not entitled to ask and that you object to giving that information.

Any reasonable employer would not want that legal liability.

They can have the password. (1)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474093)

As long as I get access to their twitter account, facebook account, linkedin account, the facebook account of the interviewer and their corporate servers first.

I mean, after all... I have to know that I am working for an honest company.

Re:They can have the password. (1)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474385)

Demand the root password too. If you're going to trust them not to do anything bad with your Facebook login details, they should reciprocate by trusting you not to run rm -rf / as root.

Ways to have fun with this (5, Funny)

SemperUbi (673908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474113)

I'd say that if they make their request in writing, and I sign it in the presence of a witness and of course get to keep a copy, I'll agree.

It'd be fun to see them break out in a cold sweat.

But let's say they agree. After all is signed, then I say "You do realize that my profile likely contains at least one piece of protected information that would be illegal for you to ask me to share, don't you?"

Heh...

Re:Ways to have fun with this (2)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474195)

It'd be fun to see them break out in a cold sweat.

It'd also be fun to see them NOT hire you :P
Getting the HR guy all worked up is a good way to not get the job.

Companies are getting away with stuff like this on the job interview because they have 100's of applicants for each position. My bet is people are handing over the PW because they don't want to put a negative or confrontational spin on the interview.

Slashdot could be considered a social networks... (2, Interesting)

bodland (522967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474121)

Expect a bill to be introduced by Republicans that allows employers full access to employee's personal account info if at anyway related to the employment.

Also companies are increasingly utilising social networks for marketing and PR and will use employees as a "PR" echo chamber to evangelise the employer and or it's products.

Expect this to be made legal....and the justification is the old terrorism mantra...."If you have nothing to hide, then what's the problem...?"

Cuts both ways (2, Insightful)

D66 (452265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474137)

What we seem to be missing is that we have 2 senators defining digital data in the same terms as personal possessions and papers. Using THIS argument as a starting point, I can see a good opening for the EFF and ACLU to step in and require like protections on Digital data from Government search and seizure.

The Constitution protects your possessions and papers from unreasonable search and seizure, however, megaupload and a dozen other events have shown that Law enforcement sees Digital data as something "else"

Based on this, we know at least 2 Senators making the argument that they are the same. Digital Data should be protected at the same standard as a person's papers. Warrants required for any search. It is time we de-romanticize the digital world.

Morons will be morons (0)

Cherubim1 (2501030) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474151)

Only clueless idiots and fools use social networking sites. All their online activity is being actively monitored and used against them yet try explaining that to people who can't see beyond fast food and Best Buy.

Who is doing this? (2)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474181)

I have yet to see a single recruiting firm or employer called out on doing this.

How stupid are these clowns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474289)

The big privacy issue is not some random potential employer asking for your credentials but the megacorporation holding your secrets!

Sometimes I think people using failbook deserve what's coming to them, call it Darwinism if you will... too bad we're all getting shafted in the process.

Is it really illegal to ask for private info? (1, Insightful)

psychonaut (65759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474319)

Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries

Really? What law prevents them from doing that? I was under the impression that, at least in the US, employers can ask prospective employees almost whatever information they damn well please. The only exceptions I'm aware of is stuff that could then be used to illegally discriminate against you, such as your religion and race. Unless something in your house or in your diary exposes you as a member of a protected class, then why couldn't a prospective employer insist on seeing them? It's not as though you are obligated to consent.

Unwarranted search and seizure (4, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474321)

Fortunately this past week has seen many groups and legislators in Canada confirming that asking for Facebook passwords is illegal here. It's an invasion of privacy, what would be in American terms an "unwarranted search and seizure" by someone who not only has no warrant, but isn't even law enforcement.

Re:Unwarranted search and seizure (3, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474391)

The relevant clause of our Charter of Rights [justice.gc.ca] in Canada:

8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

Facebook wants to SELL this data (2)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474415)

They do not want your boss getting this info for free, when they can sell it to your (prospective) employer instead.
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