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Weigh In on an HR Hot Topic: Requesting Facebook Passwords from Job Applicants & Employees

Posted on: April 5th, 2012 | Category: Government Regulatory & Compliance Issues, hiring process, Legal Issues When Hiring, NetSourcing, Our Blog

Unless you have been living under a rock (and that rock was not in range of a 3 or 4G network), you have heard by now about how some hiring managers are requesting Facebook passwords from prospective employees. Just check out what CNNmoney.com, The New York Times, Computerworld and Time are reporting, for example. The topic has many people concerned, on both sides of the issue.

“If you give someone your password and let them into your Facebook account as if they were you, then they will have access to your marital status, age, religion and even some medical information—all the things that companies are by law not allowed to ask you about during the hiring process,” says Tina Hamilton, president and CEO of hireVision. “With a members of Congress asking for an investigation into the practice, and Facebook’s user terms not permitting the sharing of our passwords to begin with, I just don’t think it’s wise for companies to venture into that territory.”

“Employers can still look at a person’s social media presence as a fellow user of these sites, however, and I think they should,” adds Hamilton. “That can paint a pretty good picture of who you are dealing with professionally, and it’s up-for-grabs information if you are seeing it as it appears publicly, or as an invited viewer.”

Should companies  be allowed to ask for a job applicant’s Facebook password to do a background check? Tell us what you think!

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