Would you give the job interviewer your username and password to Facebook, for instance, as part of your resume as a condition to landing that badly needed job?
This question came up again today when the Associated Press reported that a jobseeker in Seattle, USA was shocked when his job interviewer asked for his username and password to Facebook, ostensibly as part of the information gathering process related to his application.
AP said the jobseeker refused to turn over his Facebook username and password and withdrew his job application, saying he wouldn’t wish to work for a company that demanded such personal information.
The report noted that the Seattle case is merely the latest of a spate of complaints from jobseekers who reported that most companies not only access public social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to gather more information for applications, but insist that passwords be surrendered also for accounts that have been set to private.
The trend is reportedly even more widespread in public agencies, such as those involved in law enforcement, where candidates are likely to hand over their social network passwords.
Several states in the US, such as Illinois and Maryland, are reportedly contemplating legislation that would forbid prospective employers from asking for similar confidential and private information out of job applicants.
However, the report pointed out that in the today’s difficult job market, many applicants set aside suspicions of privacy violations and readily give up their usernames and passwords, even at the early stages of the job application process.