City Job Application Demands Passwords to Your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Other Accounts

demand facebook password job application-1

 

Montana, once known as “Big Sky” state, just became the “Big Spy” state, with the revelation that those applying for jobs with Montana’s City of Bozeman are required to provide their username and password for any social networking site to which they belong, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google, Yahoo, and others.

In fact, the language, directly from the application, states:

“Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.,”


..next to which are lines to list the sites, and blanks for your username and password for each listed site.

Here is a copy of the actual form:

demand facebook password job application-1

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Bozeman City Attorney Greg Sullivan defends this gross invastion of privacy by saying that “So, we have positions ranging from fire and police, which require people of high integrity for those positions, all the way down to the lifeguards and the folks that work in city hall here. So we do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the City.”

That’s just bovine excrement. Demanding the usernames and passwords for applicants’ social networking accounts is like asking for the keys to their house, and that they please leave their address book and photo albums on the coffee table.

Not to mention that it’s a violation of just about every social networking TOS on the planet to share your login credentials with a third-party.

 

Backpedals Sullivan, “One thing that’s important for folks to understand about what we look for is none of the things that the federal constitution lists as protected things. We don’t use those. We’re not putting out this broad brush stroke of trying to find out all kinds of information about the person that we’re not able to use or shouldn’t use in the hiring process.”

Ironically, we think that this reveals a lot more information about the City of Bozeman – information that a job applicant should use in the hiring process.

[Update: Shortly after this article posted, and following the public outcry, the City of Bozeman reversed its decision to require this information. Said Bozeman City Manager Chris Kukulski, “Effective at noon today, the City of Bozeman permanently ceased the practice of requesting that candidates selected for positions under a provisional job offer to provide their user names or passwords for candidates Internet sites.”]

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Summary
City Job Application Demands Passwords to Your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Other Accounts
Article Name
City Job Application Demands Passwords to Your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Other Accounts
Description
Montana's City of Bozeman required job seekers to provide their username and password for any social networking site to which they belong!
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One thought on “City Job Application Demands Passwords to Your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Other Accounts

  1. On a somewhat related note, isn’t it also illegal for government entities to require your SSN for anything besides Social Security tax and benefits?

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