Daily Archives: March 20, 2012

Employers ask job seekers for Facebook passwords

When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.

Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn’t see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.

Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn’t want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.

In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person’s social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.

“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it “an egregious privacy violation.”

Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.

Since the rise of social networking, it has become common for managers to review publically available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates. But many users, especially on Facebook, have their profiles set to private, making them available only to selected people or certain networks.

Companies that don’t ask for passwords have taken other steps — such as asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview. Once employed, some workers have been required to sign non-disparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.

Asking for a candidate’s password is more prevalent among public agencies, especially those seeking to fill law enforcement positions such as police officers or 911 dispatchers.

Read more via SFGate>>>


Google+ updates photo album organization

Suffice it to say, if you’re still using Google+ you’ve probably noticed that it hasn’t exactly had an expansive feature set for organizing photo albums. According to Isaac Sparrow, a self-described “engineer on the Google+ Photos team,” a great number of folks have expressed the desire for better functionality in this area. Thankfully, in response, he also announced some a quartet of features that have just been set live on the site to help you keep your candids in check. Within the Options menus of your albums you’ll now find an Organize tab which’ll let you select and delete a multiple images, move and copy them to other albums and resort them by date or any order you choose. Sure, it’s far from the likes of Facebook’s Timeline, but we’d imagine anyone with backlog of photos on the site will surely appreciate the new digs. You know the drill — hit the links below for all the details.

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