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Dacarlo
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Technology The Big Brother thread

The default setting for me is the one where someone searching can't find me. Its somewhat moot too if you post things to particular 'groups' within facebook. Still, being asked seems a violation of privacy that goes beyond a security check.


http://www.boston.com/news/nation/a...book_passwords/


SEATTLE—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.

Back in 2010, Robert Collins was returning to his job as a security guard at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services after taking a leave following his mother's death. During a reinstatement interview, he was asked for his login and password, purportedly so the agency could check for any gang affiliations. He was stunned by the request but complied.

"I needed my job to feed my family. I had to," he recalled,

After the ACLU complained about the practice, the agency amended its policy, asking instead for job applicants to log in during interviews.

"To me, that's still invasive. I can appreciate the desire to learn more about the applicant, but it's still a violation of people's personal privacy," said Collins, whose case inspired Maryland's legislation.

Until last year, the city of Bozeman, Mont., had a long-standing policy of asking job applicants for passwords to their email addresses, social-networking websites and other online accounts.

And since 2006, the McLean County, Ill., sheriff's office has been one of several Illinois sheriff's departments that ask applicants to sign into social media sites to be screened.

Chief Deputy Rusty Thomas defended the practice, saying applicants have a right to refuse. But no one has ever done so. Thomas said that "speaks well of the people we have apply."

When asked what sort of material would jeopardize job prospects, Thomas said "it depends on the situation" but could include "inappropriate pictures or relationships with people who are underage, illegal behavior."

In Spotsylvania County, Va., the sheriff's department asks applicants to friend background investigators for jobs at the 911 dispatch center and for law enforcement positions.

"In the past, we've talked to friends and neighbors, but a lot of times we found that applicants interact more through social media sites than they do with real friends," said Capt. Mike Harvey. "Their virtual friends will know more about them than a person living 30 yards away from them."

Harvey said investigators look for any "derogatory" behavior that could damage the agency's reputation.

E. Chandlee Bryan, a career coach and co-author of the book "The Twitter Job Search Guide," said job seekers should always be aware of what's on their social media sites and assume someone is going to look at it.

Bryan said she is troubled by companies asking for logins, but she feels it's not a violation if an employer asks to see a Facebook profile through a friend request. And she's not troubled by non-disparagement agreements.

"I think that when you work for a company, they are essentially supporting you in exchange for your work. I think if you're dissatisfied, you should go to them and not on a social media site," she said.

More companies are also using third-party applications to scour Facebook profiles, Bryan said. One app called BeKnown can sometimes access personal profiles, short of wall messages, if a job seeker allows it.

Sears is one of the companies using apps. An applicant has the option of logging into the Sears job site through Facebook by allowing a third-party application to draw information from the profile, such as friend lists.

Sears Holdings Inc. spokeswoman Kim Freely said using a Facebook profile to apply allows Sears to be updated on the applicant's work history.

The company assumes "that people keep their social profiles updated to the minute, which allows us to consider them for other jobs in the future or for ones that they may not realize are available currently," she said.

Giving out Facebook login information violates the social network's terms of service. But those terms have no real legal weight, and experts say the legality of asking for such information remains murky.

The Department of Justice regards it as a federal crime to enter a social networking site in violation of the terms of service, but during recent congressional testimony, the agency said such violations would not be prosecuted.

But Lori Andrews, law professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law specializing in Internet privacy, is concerned about the pressure placed on applicants, even if they voluntarily provide access to social sites.

"Volunteering is coercion if you need a job," Andrews said.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter responded to repeated requests for comment.

In New York, Bassett considered himself lucky that he was able to turn down the consulting gig at a lobbying firm.

"I think asking for account login credentials is regressive," he said. "If you need to put food on the table for your three kids, you can't afford to stand up for your belief."

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Old Post 03-20-2012 05:17 PM
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SimpleSimon
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Don't have Facebook or Twitter accounts and they can ask all they want.

E-mail log-ins or passwords? Nobody gets those, period.

Last edited by Trenchant_Troll on 03-20-2012 at 10:57 PM

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Old Post 03-20-2012 10:01 PM
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Tefl
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Re: The Big Brother thread

quote:
Originally posted by Dacarlo
consulting gig at a lobbying firm.


Now that sounds like an easy job.

"What do we do to convince the senator to vote for XYZ?"

"Here's a kilo of coke, a sack of cash, and the phone numbers for some pimps in DC. That ought to do it. If it doesn't, here's a camera. You know what to do."

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Old Post 03-20-2012 10:10 PM
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bacidath
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if I were hiring and asked for login infos and the person gave them to me they would not be hired... if they are willing to give up personal infos what are they going to be willing to give up to a rival company ? and people wonder why social engineering works so well...

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Old Post 03-20-2012 10:40 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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quote:
Originally posted by bacidath
...if they are willing to give up personal infos what are they going to be willing to give up to a rival company ? and people wonder why social engineering works so well...



Very well said, Baci.

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Old Post 03-20-2012 10:53 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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quote:
Originally posted by SimpleSimon
Don't have Facebook or Twitter accounts and they can ask all they want.

E-mail log-ins or passwords? Nobody gets those, period.




Who the fuck is gonna invite a festering pile of desiccated flesh with a hook stuck in it for a job interview anyway? You know, generally speaking?

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Old Post 03-20-2012 10:58 PM
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Brett
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quote:
Originally posted by Trenchant_Troll
Who the fuck is gonna invite a festering pile of desiccated flesh with a hook stuck in it for a job interview anyway? You know, generally speaking?



Long John Silvers?

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Old Post 03-20-2012 11:17 PM
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SimpleSimon
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The local theater coompany is doing Peter Pan . They need a Capt. Hook.

Or, I might take a job recently offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana. It's only half time work, but it would give me something to do. The Bishop is a nice guy, and offered me the job when the current holder moves away May 1st. I am inclined to take it, if it won't end up costing me more than it brings in.

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Roshigoth
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I probably wouldn't want to work for a company that demanded that.

That said, if I were desperate, there's always the option of setting up a dummy account.

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Old Post 03-21-2012 02:01 AM
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Pinecrika
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Sure, I'd give them my password.. F-U-C-K-O-F-F-A-N-D-D-I-E. Then I'd go look for another job.

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Old Post 03-21-2012 05:22 AM
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FuhQall
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This is no worse than being asked to empty your pockets or being frisked by a bouncer at a club.
If you have a problem with it, do exactly what the guy in the article did. If you have a sense that your facebook is not really that important and you prefer to live in a house/flat rather than an underpass or squatter camp, then you will likely get paid and not give it much more thought.

Don't worry though, it won't be long before people have an employers-version of a facebook page, while still maintaining the mood-posting/crap spewing/look-at-me profiles that most people have.

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Old Post 03-21-2012 08:51 AM
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Mordecai
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I need to make a 'public face' facebook already anyway, I should get on that. I've already had incidences of co-workers finding me on facebook and wanting to be friends and then getting cranky about being turned down. Yeah, thanks but no thanks, you god bothering, republican voting asshats, I don't need you all looking for reasons to get me fired because you just discovered that I'm the god damned anti-christ.

As far as employers go, no, you don't get my login. You get what is available to the public because that is your only valid concern, what public face I might bring to the company. I do not add the company name to my profiles, nor do I discuss my work on such other than in the most general terms (Tough day at work! or Work went well today!) so there is no legitimate reason to ask.

-m

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-m

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Old Post 03-21-2012 03:29 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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C'mon, Jesus wasn't that tall.

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Old Post 03-21-2012 04:16 PM
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Dacarlo
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He looks taller nailed up.

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Old Post 03-21-2012 05:46 PM
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PNG
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i've just logged to give you a humor

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Old Post 03-21-2012 08:53 PM
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Dacarlo
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TT nails em up and I knock em down. We're besties dontchaknow.

Meanwhile more tinfoilhatchery. Or is it?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidth...itoring-system/

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Old Post 03-22-2012 09:14 AM
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Dacarlo
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I think we should keep a close eye on one another.
http://peterburk.appspot.com/Peter_.../10_TWLOHW.html

Think I might move my FB life to greener pastures...

http://diasporaproject.org/

Last edited by Dacarlo on 03-22-2012 at 09:21 AM

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Old Post 03-22-2012 09:15 AM
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Dacarlo
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Old Post 03-22-2012 09:35 AM
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Tefl
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The large scale tracking of all communications is not new. Look into Echelon, Fusion Centers, the Information Awareness Office, TALON, Guardian, and ADVISE for starters.

This sort of stuff ISN'T tinfoil, it's very, very real.

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Old Post 03-22-2012 10:02 AM
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Coincidence
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And before that, Jesus and Jehova had you under constant surveillance. This sort of stuff is nothing new, it's very, very old.
99% of its efficiency depends on how much people believe in it and fear it.

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SatansLeftHand
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Coin: what do you think 'confession' is all about? God may or may not be watching, but the church definitely is.

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Old Post 03-22-2012 03:36 PM
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Dacarlo
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More reasons to avoid facebook.

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Old Post 03-22-2012 05:16 PM
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Coincidence
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quote:
Originally posted by SatansLeftHand
Coin: what do you think 'confession' is all about? God may or may not be watching, but the church definitely is.

Yeah. And so we have reality TV for this today. If you don't repent in front of a camera it's not valid.
I propose that a percentage of the population fear and support this surveillance out of the same reasons middle age believers feared and supported God.

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Old Post 03-22-2012 05:52 PM
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Coincidence
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Which should actually be a step in the right direction. But I guess that's debatable.

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Old Post 03-22-2012 05:58 PM
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Brett
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http://arstechnica.com/business/new...s-passwords.ars



quote:
Facebook has taken a stand against what it calls a "distressing increase" in reports of employers demanding the Facebook passwords of employees and job applicants.

One such report came from the Associated Press this week, which detailed cases of interviewers asking applicants for Facebook usernames and passwords, a clear invasion of privacy if we've ever heard of one. Employers examining applicants' and employees' activity on social media networks isn't new—but typically it is restricted to what information users have made publicly available to everyone. Facebook said it could seek policy changes or file lawsuits to prevent employers from demanding passwords.

While Facebook is often criticized for privacy violations of its own, this time it's fighting on behalf of its users.

"Facebook takes your privacy seriously," Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said in a statement issued today. "We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges."

Separately, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, is drafting legislation that would outlaw the practice of employers asking for login credentials to social networking sites and e-mail accounts, Politico reported Wednesday. Blumenthal called it an "unreasonable invasion of privacy."

Sharing or soliciting a password is already a violation of Facebook's user agreement.

"As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job," Facebook said. "And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job. That’s why we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password."

In addition to these password requests being a threat to both user privacy and security, Facebook said it could expose employers to legal liability.

"We don’t think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don’t think it’s right the thing to do," Facebook said. "But it also may cause problems for the employers that they are not anticipating. For example, if an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group (e.g. over a certain age, etc.) that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don’t hire that person."

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Old Post 03-24-2012 12:29 AM
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