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City Requests Facebook, MySpace, Google Logins and Passwords of Job Applicants


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Being the convinced slippery-slope theorist that I am, if this holds up, how long before they require banking and credit card log-in information so they can see how you spend your money? Gotta keep up that moral character, ya know. :dntknw:

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Back in 93 when I was applying for work in my last year of school I was asked questions that now I hear you are not allowed to ask.

 

 

I was asked if I was going to have more kids and if so how many and when?

 

What I would be doing with my children while at work and if they would need me during work hours?

 

Was my marriage solid or was there problems going on?

 

Did I have bad credit.

 

 

I was told I didnt get the job because I was planning on having more children.

Edited by mdw2006
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Back in 93 when I was applying for work in my last year of school I was asked questions that now I hear you are not allowed to ask.

 

 

I was asked if I was going to have more kids and if so how many and when?

 

What I would be doing with my children while at work and if they would need me during work hours?

 

Was my marriage solid or was there problems going on?

 

Did I have bad credit.

 

 

I was told I didnt get the job because I was planning on having more children.

hello lawsuit.

 

Seriously. :blush:

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Back in 93 when I was applying for work in my last year of school I was asked questions that now I hear you are not allowed to ask.

 

 

I was asked if I was going to have more kids and if so how many and when?

 

What I would be doing with my children while at work and if they would need me during work hours?

 

Was my marriage solid or was there problems going on?

 

Did I have bad credit.

 

 

I was told I didnt get the job because I was planning on having more children.

hello lawsuit.

 

Seriously. :grin:

 

Ya I wish I knew what I know now back then and it was for a doctors office no less.

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they decided to drop the internet craziness....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31446037/ns/te...ience-security/

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana immediately questioned the legality of the policy.

:blush: Well, the ACLU will question just about anything if you give them half a piece of string to work with.

 

But in this case, they are "right on" (to regress to my hippie vernacular )

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You always wonder if there wasn't just ONE person there who objected to this before it was instituted...

I just sort of want to know if the person who came up with this bright idea is still employed there.

 

Even so....it would have to have gone "through committee".....so each and every one of them is to blame.

 

I mean, really....the more I think about this, the angrier I get. How could it even have gotten to the point where it was actually asked for as part of the application? Did they really think that no one (meaning the general public) would find out about it and object to it?

 

I think if I lived there, I'd push for some sort of formal investigation to find out who all was behind it and then force them to resign. If they so blatantly will ask for this sort of information.....lord only knows what they do away from the public eye.

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This is what probably did them in:

 

I'm sure their inside counsel saw the public outcry and then promptly called the mayor to let the City know their own tax revenue would be promptly drained when they have to defend multiple Federal lawsuits from the City proactively snooping into private accounts... a constitutionally dubious act.

 

 

 

 

This isn't that far off from Hazelton, PA which tried to pass a "no-rent to illegals" law. Seconds after they passed their law they had to start earmarking part of their town treasury to start lining lawyer's pockets.

 

 

I don't think I'd want my municipality going off on a legal tangent and in exchange my garbage doesn't get picked up and potholes don't get filled because we ran out of money paying for expensive lawyers to defend flippantness.

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The social networking phenomenon has outgrown existing laws, and new laws simply take time to hammer out. It'll be interesting how all of this shakes out in the long run.

 

That said, IMO anything that's posted publicly on a blog or social networking site is fair game for anyone, as there's no expectation of privacy. Private postings (visible only to friends, family, and select others) is much more of a gray area, although I suspect it should receive about the same level of protection as email does (I'm assuming that email is viewable only under court order).

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You are incorrect on several points there Yedgy. There are certain things that employers are not allowed to take in to account when making a hiring decision. Notably information about religion, marriage, children, etc.

 

"Social" networking is just that....social. If it were Business Networking, that might be a little different. It also protects the employer to not look at this "data".

 

Example 1:

 

You are looking at several candidates for a position. A person is the front running candidate for that job and they know it. They are also the most qualified. However someone from personnel looks up their facebook or Myspace page and sees that the (female) candidate and her husband (or SO) are thinking about starting a family before long. Suddenly that person is no longer the leading candidate and loses out on the job to another applicant (one who might not be as qualified).

 

Discrimination lawsuit in the making.

 

Example 2:

 

Your current employer has to do some layoffs. They see that John has a Blog. John writes in his blog that he just found out that his cholesterol count is high and that treadmill test didn't come out well. However he hasn't told anyone at his job, and that the doctor was trying to use medication to treat the condition, and he hopes that it doesn't come down to him having to have heart surgery.

 

Now John is the high producer for his unit. He has the most seniority, has never been late, taken too much time off, or been counseled for anything. Tom, on the other hand is a lower producer and can't seem to get along with people in other departments. Mary (the other employee) is perpetually late, calls in sick constantly, and although she is liked by everyone, her performance is lack-luster.

 

Who do they lay off? John.

 

Another Discrimination suit in the making.

 

See where I am heading here? The information they are demanding is allowing them to make hiring/firing decisions using data that they are not supposed to be privy to or use in making hiring/firing decisions.

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You raise some interesting points, Tigz, but I'm not suggesting that issues you raised in your examples couldn't be used against people. After all, there are other ways that an HR person could find out about a job candidate's family plans--mutual friends, coworkers, even a Babies-R-Us catalog sitting on the dashboard of an applicant's car. Likewise for the guy with high cholesterol.

 

I'm thinking more of elements that fall outside the purview of anti-discrimination laws: extreme political opinions on a blog, pictures of excessive drinking, claims of illegal drug use, boasting about "getting away with" unsavory activities, vindictiveness toward past employers, etc. Assuming that the company hasn't demanded usernames and passwords as a requirement of consideration, aren't they within their rights to Google the applicant and peruse their public information?

 

Of course, there's always the possibility that they'd be looking at the wrong Facebook page for John Smith, but let's assume for the moment here that they're looking at the right pages.

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It doesn't matter. They shouldn't be looking at them at all.

 

Or is it also ok for a company person to follow an employee or prospective employee around while they go shop, meet friends at a local bar, go to their church, follow them to their kids school play or dance recital?

 

Just because you apply to a company, doesn't mean you give them the right to stalk you.

 

Also, an employer can not ask about any social clubs or political organizations that the person belongs to. (of course if you are applying for a job with the GOP, that would be different...but on the whole, someones political beliefs or affiliations have no bearing on the job for which they are applying, therefore the question is irrelevant.)

 

Other than past work history, education, and experience, a company doesn't need to know anything about your outside life. This has been borne out in court case after court case. They are not even allowed to ask about arrests, however they can ask if you have ever been convicted of certain crimes.

 

A lot of companies get away with asking these sort of questions because applicants either don't know their rights, or are too desparate for a job to say anything about it.....or the company could just have an salamander for a HR officer (or interviewer). But with the economy being bad as it is, many employers will try to push the envelope on what they can ask....because they have the better hand at the moment, they can get away with more.

 

But just because we are now in the information age doesn't mean the laws have changed. New technology still needs to adhere to old standards on hiring. Just because information is more accessible, doesn't mean they have the right or duty to access it. If a company isn't allowed to use certain information in the hiring decision, why would you think that now, just because of the internet, that the rules have changed?

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You raise some interesting points, Tigz, but I'm not suggesting that issues you raised in your examples couldn't be used against people. After all, there are other ways that an HR person could find out about a job candidate's family plans--mutual friends, coworkers, even a Babies-R-Us catalog sitting on the dashboard of an applicant's car. Likewise for the guy with high cholesterol.

 

I'm thinking more of elements that fall outside the purview of anti-discrimination laws: extreme political opinions on a blog, pictures of excessive drinking, claims of illegal drug use, boasting about "getting away with" unsavory activities, vindictiveness toward past employers, etc. Assuming that the company hasn't demanded usernames and passwords as a requirement of consideration, aren't they within their rights to Google the applicant and peruse their public information?

 

Of course, there's always the possibility that they'd be looking at the wrong Facebook page for John Smith, but let's assume for the moment here that they're looking at the right pages.

 

 

Very true.

 

Doesn't matter what we think, but companies do and will continue to use social networking sites and the internet to research potential employees. In all honesty, if I were an employer, I can't say I am against checking stuff available to the public.

 

This municipality took it to the extreme by requiring stuff unsustainable by law (IMHO), but I won't bat an eyelid at HR folks who pull up freely posted info from such sites. There is a potential for abuse, but the rules are the same: if you don't want Mr Smith to know that you enjoy extreme play with gerbils and you like to don merkins on July 4th, then don't post it. Use an alias. Be discreet.

 

In this age, you are only as good as your reputation, and the internet is a part of it. Play cautiously.

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Just because you apply to a company, doesn't mean you give them the right to stalk you.

This statement gets to the heart of the matter. Is reading publicly available, clearly identifiable information posted on the Internet stalking? Is Googling someone's name and perusing the results stalking?

 

The dilemma goes beyond human resources, too. I recently read an article about divorce lawyers using blogs and SN postings during divorce proceedings.

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This thread has convinced me that I need a second Facebook account - for the folks with whom I want to network, but who I don't really want to have see the results of my "Which drug are you" and "how b****y are you" quizzes. :mellow:

 

Edited because I'm having trouble with grammar today.

Edited by VibrantEcho
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You raise some interesting points, Tigz, but I'm not suggesting that issues you raised in your examples couldn't be used against people. After all, there are other ways that an HR person could find out about a job candidate's family plans--mutual friends, coworkers, even a Babies-R-Us catalog sitting on the dashboard of an applicant's car. Likewise for the guy with high cholesterol.

 

I'm thinking more of elements that fall outside the purview of anti-discrimination laws: extreme political opinions on a blog, pictures of excessive drinking, claims of illegal drug use, boasting about "getting away with" unsavory activities, vindictiveness toward past employers, etc. Assuming that the company hasn't demanded usernames and passwords as a requirement of consideration, aren't they within their rights to Google the applicant and peruse their public information?

 

Of course, there's always the possibility that they'd be looking at the wrong Facebook page for John Smith, but let's assume for the moment here that they're looking at the right pages.

 

 

Very true.

 

Doesn't matter what we think, but companies do and will continue to use social networking sites and the internet to research potential employees. In all honesty, if I were an employer, I can't say I am against checking stuff available to the public.

 

This municipality took it to the extreme by requiring stuff unsustainable by law (IMHO), but I won't bat an eyelid at HR folks who pull up freely posted info from such sites. There is a potential for abuse, but the rules are the same: if you don't want Mr Smith to know that you enjoy extreme play with gerbils and you like to don merkins on July 4th, then don't post it. Use an alias. Be discreet.

 

In this age, you are only as good as your reputation, and the internet is a part of it. Play cautiously.

 

The words "merkin" and "gerbils" should never, ever be used in the same sentence. If any fool posts pics of himself with either of those things in a strange context, then he's a stupid exhibitionist.

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The words "merkin" and "gerbils" should never, ever be used in the same sentence.

 

Truer words were never spoken. :dance:

So, to get this thread back on topic, would it be stalking if we all checked out the merkin photos on Stryker's Facebook page come 4th of July weekend? :grin:

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Back in 93 when I was applying for work in my last year of school I was asked questions that now I hear you are not allowed to ask.

 

 

I was asked if I was going to have more kids and if so how many and when?

 

What I would be doing with my children while at work and if they would need me during work hours?

 

Was my marriage solid or was there problems going on?

 

Did I have bad credit.

 

 

I was told I didnt get the job because I was planning on having more children.

 

 

My kid was brought up in my interview for my current position. They seemed to thing that since I have a lot of family down here, they wouldn't need to worry about me taking days off to take her to the doctor or take care of her if she got sick. I think I just gave them a noncommittal answer because I for DANGED sure am going to take my daughter to the doctor myself, if I can.

 

My interview with the director also had the credit history brought up. He said they would be checking it to make sure I wouldn't be at risk of bribery or some crap. :wub: (What's weird is that in the last 2 months, I've literally had to tell like 5 probationers that I'm not allowed to accept gifts of any kind. And these were weird gifts: one wanted to bring barbecue, one wanted to give me a discount on getting my car detailed. :cry2: I was like, why would I even WANT you getting your grubby hands on my car? And why would I eat ANYTHING you brought me? I don't know what you put in it!!!)

 

ETA:

The social networking phenomenon has outgrown existing laws, and new laws simply take time to hammer out. It'll be interesting how all of this shakes out in the long run.

 

That said, IMO anything that's posted publicly on a blog or social networking site is fair game for anyone, as there's no expectation of privacy. Private postings (visible only to friends, family, and select others) is much more of a gray area, although I suspect it should receive about the same level of protection as email does (I'm assuming that email is viewable only under court order).

 

 

Yes but they don't just want the username to look you up. They want to be able to LOG IN AS YOU. :blink:

Edited by angeleyeskkhr
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