When I wrote this blog about how a recent research study correlated social network behavior with employee success, I speculated that we’d soon see employers trying to circumvent Facebook’s privacy policies in order to get a good look at your Facebook pages. Well, it turns out that some employers aren’t happy with just seeing the …
This would be illegal anywhere in the EU. you have a right to a private life even at work. Employers cant just randomly go through your email even if its on their servers never mind your home ones (they need to provide a plausible reason to look at 'your'/their company email, ie suspect you of doing something illegal or not in the company interest)
Any potential employer asking me to give them this private Facebook info would get a "fuck off" from me, and any current employer aking me for this info would get a fat old' lawsuit... Just say no.
Would definitely be a no, this would give them access to your data and other peoples data which you could end up being liable for i.e. they know someone who messages you something and then go on to reveal that information you would be the one in trouble.
Although alternatively you could always say yes I'll give you access to mine if i can view yours.... you want to know who your potential employing and I want to know who i might be working for and who I can blackmail later. for knocking off his secretary.
I can see the future...
This is no different from a prospective employer asking for my private email login, or indeed, my house keys. If anyone asked me for my facebook login during an interview I would laugh at them. If I realised they were serious I would just walk out. I suspect that the vast majority of smart, talented people would do likewise.
Companies with this sort of hiring policy will simply go bust, because they will not be able to hire any talented employees.
At the end of this road is where you have prospective employers paying for a service where they give your email address and are then allowed to browse any network that you've joined, including this one. oops.
I see a new job opening here...
Any company which asks for this sort of information is setting themselves up to be gamed by any sufficiently savvy employee. The first step is to set up another Facebook account, then populate it with a nice array of phoney sockpuppet friends. Next, sort out some Perl which automagically posts anodyne and extremely safe comments from all these sockpuppets, and for the phoney Facebook account. Let the system run for a month or so before you apply to Illegal Snoopers Inc. and there you go, nice safe Facebook account for them to snoop about in and dribble over.
Let's face it, any outfit that is idiotic enough to ask for this sort of information is easily gullible enough to fall for a set-up like this.
Not Facebook, at the time, but now maybe...
AC for very obvious reasons.
I am SC cleared and have been for many years. Many of you will know the level of detail required for that. For those that don't... let's just say it's "fairly thorough". I'm also FSA Enhanced screened. A previous employer also conducted initial and random drug screening too.
For anyone not capable of reading between the lines... I'm squeaky clean (and v boring!).
I was once offered a job at Oracle (here in the UK). The job came with a nice pay rise, which I was quite keen on. Along with the job offer, came a previously undisclosed demand, not only for a full background check (performed by Kroll, which I thought was OTT anyway), but also a _credit check_.
They're paying me _and_ I'm extending them a line of credit for my travel expenses. WTF do they want to do a credit check on me for? It should be the other way around - only I decided that Larry was good for the money. My credit history is NONE of their damn business.
Before anyone jumps in... the job was pretty ordinary and did not entail any kind of access to sensitive or financial data or indeed anything else out of the ordinary.
When I politely declined the job offer and explained why (the credit check, specifically), the response was... "oh, is there some kind of problem then?". Of course there wasn't, but the fact that they immediately jumped to conclusion told me that this wasn't a company I wanted to work for. I didn't say that directly, but they took offence anyway.
They're probably asking for Facebook passwords by now.
This kind of ridiculous carry-on needs to be stopped. Now.
PS - Kroll processes your data outside the EU. They got rather shirty when I asked about the safeguards for my personal data. In short - they weren't able to guarantee that my data was protected to the same standards that it would be under EU laws.
Re: Not Facebook, at the time, but now maybe...
To an extent, the need to look at the credit history of an employee or candidate/applicant is mostly legit if the data is destroyed after finding the answers needed.
If the company sends employees on travel with company cards and valuable equipment, it needs to at least have a "baseline" of financial responsibility and to decide whether to take or continue with the risk of retaining or hiring someone as an employee.
But, aside from that, the company should pay up front for the big expenses (airfare, vehicle rentals, per diem, hotel, and known/anticipated equipment/consumables) up front for company activities. Smaller stuff could be set up as reimbursable items. If a company has cashflow issues, then how can it expect to repay employees.
OTOH, in exchange for not running credit reports, employers could judge an employee's trustworthiness and loyalty (if sufficiently compensated and not in financial straits) by requiring the employee to front the expenses and take reimbursement within 2 weeks.
Not taking a credit report for certain positions of employment could legally be seen as a failure to conduct due diligence. It also means a time-biding, shady character could be promoted without any opportunity for red flags to be found.
Then again, lots of well-compensated people derailed or bilked billions out of unsuspecting, overly-trusting people.
Re: Not Facebook, at the time, but now maybe...
The thing is in the US they will ask for a credit check for every one. The assumption is bad credit means you will steal.
Think thats scary, hows about full medical records!?!
I found it more worrying that my misses got asked for full access to her medical records with a job offer a few months back. She's an accountant FFS and it was one of the conditions of the offer.
She didn't want / need the job so we didn't get to the point of telling them no, but simply the fact that they had the audacity to ask was scary!
How many people ...
so up in arms about this, work for firms who drug test staff* ?
*who have no safety implications
Re: How many people ...
I work in the railway industry. Our random booze/dope test policy applies to all - even desk-bound Mac artists like me. This is because :-
a) Can you imagine the conniptions saintly Brother Crow would have, if Drivers/Conductors/Platform staff were tested, but admin/management weren't?
b) In times of need or emergency, any office-dweller can be temporarily re-assigned to 'the front line' - obviously not where specific training is required - so booze-free & dope-free brains throughout the working day are essential.
It ain't no hardship, honest.
No employer i can think of would have a sufficient benefits package over and above anyone else to make me think about giving up my personal life to that extent. Its not just naming the company and discussing confidential info etc, sometimes you might never mention who you work for, but just use facebook as a way to vent after a particularly frustrating day.
Several years ago, before world+dog had a blog, I used a blog on my own domain as a way to generally just rant about various aspects of my life, work included. A select few friends would read and comment on each post. The company name, nor the name of any employee, nor indeed my own name was mentioned anywhere on the site. On my final day i made the mistake of quickly checking the comments from a different pc and didnt remove it from the history. The boss found the blog that afternoon and about half an hour before i was due to leave he "confronted me" about it in front of the entire staff. Shortly after defending myself by way of telling him a few home truths mentioned on the blog in more detail, i was escorted from the premises. Lucky it was my last day anyway.
I would never be foolish enough to let any employer, or prospective employer see my personal musings ever again. And i would suggest everyone else considers the same.
Here are my papers:
Actually, that's quite a niftly little hard to crack password, scoring 100% on the password meter.
And 'How secure is my password' says: It would take a desktop PC About 374 trillion years to hack your password. I wonder if they could crack it in the same amount of time.
Actually, I would just say:
Name: Doilookl Ike Acunt (but you can call me Ike)
F***, that's an even better password - About 121 quattuordecillion years to 'crack' according to the 'How secure is my password' site. Not even I know how long that is, but it sounds like a bleedin' long time.
Sorry for the bad language, but passwords, for some reason, bring out the latent copropraxic tendencies in me. ****.
Job interviewers also. ****.
Re: No problem!
you know what? after that rant we change our mind. We don't want to ever see your facebook profile
What that a "Peter Meter"? LOL!
(By eye, i quickly discerned the text, and ordinary people should be expected to... But, looks like you got a "Captcha'd Audience...)
you know what will be newsworthy? when one day potential employers order people who do not have facebook accounts, like myself, to create one, and then hand it over or whatever. in the meantime, meh. sue the morons, look for another job, do both, whatever.
you know what will be newsworthy?
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse - your post made me shudder and a cold chill when down my spine.
do you want a look in my pants too?
"OK then, can I have the root login for the company mail server?"
"Nice try, smartass. That's part of the job."
What about the access code they SMS me?
Login Approvals, every sensible person has this turned on for FB (and 2 step verification for GMail), right?
You can have my password, but you can't have my mobile phone!
All I see here is "some companies" and "some other companies".
Names or it's fiction.
Re: Which companies?
Time for a new website:
Naming and shaming should deter them a little.
Wouldn't work on me
My response to this would be that, as an IT professional, I take security too seriously to be giving out my password. No one, not even my wife, has my Facebook password. I sure as heck am not going to give it to someone I just met just because they're interviewing me for a job. And, were I in the situation of an employer hiring an IT professional, I would have serious second thoughts about hiring anyone who would.
Also, if I were refused a position based on those grounds, I'd be in touch with a lawyer. I don't like the idea of suing because I wasn't hired, but this kind of hiring practice simply can not be tolerated. Only when someone sues will the courts step in and put a stop to it, and I have severe doubts about getting the politicians to do so at all.
This speaks volumes..
This is unconscionable behaviour which says much about the the company doing the asking. Who are the guilty parties? They do not deserve any of our hard-earned money.
Have two facebook accounts.
* One with loads of stuff about Nietzsche, 17th century choral music, wallace and grommit, and oxfam.
* And one with pictures of your bum grafted onto cherie blair's neck.
Beer. You owe me one as the bottle I was drinking has inexplicably been ejected through my nostrils. Bumon Cherie Blair's neck indeed. Well played sir!
A 'Cherie Graft' that needs to be a measurement, for horror maybe?
Alfie was two Cherie grafts away from being sectioned - yep that works!
Interviewers make me laugh
Oh, you mean the other end?
<Deletes nauseating pic of Cherie Blair's head sticking out of own arse.>
"Kiss this, tony"
"Well, I suppose it is some sort of improvement"
make your bed
well, I'm a little surprised to note that so many of the ubertecherati have even considered joining a movement that was set up by a youth on the specious, puerile grounds that he wished to 'vid the groobs' on his fellow (female) students. see 'The Facebook Effect' Kirkpatrick. Good luck for the facefuture.
I could just tell them
That the IT guy strongly suggested that we not have Facebook accounts accessible at the office and when they tell me he sounds like a bit of a dick; say, yes, yes I am.
Facebook? To get a job?
When did it become mandatory?
IMO, having a FB account shows a (minor) lack of judgement. Not having a FB account shows greater maturity and perhaps a better understanding of privacy concepts.
Who would YOU employ?
Let the down-votes begin!
Re: Facebook? To get a job?
"IMO, having a FB account shows a (minor) lack of judgement. Not having a FB account shows greater maturity and perhaps a better understanding of privacy concepts."
Not necessarily. I have a FB account because it's a good way to stay in touch with my family and with some friends from high school who have scattered from Florida to Arizona. As far as the privacy concerns on it go, I just don't have anything on my FB account that I'm not willing to share with the world.
good way to stay in touch
What? Like phone or email?
No Facebook account here (since 2004)
Bite me, prospective employers.
Very presumptuous of you to think that all of us have taken a fancy to Mark Zuckerberg's turd sandwich.
This is yet another example of HR drones trying to justify their existence. I used to have a colleague who claimed that HR stands for "human remains", but I think he was being flattering.
And don't get me started on the fatuous compulsory computer-based training sessions. I've just had to do several of these in quick succession to complete my quota for the quarter. You page your way through sixty screens full of tedious verbiage, where the real challenge is to stay awake, then you complete an assessment that tests nothing but short-term memory and guesswork. Ask me anything related to the training I completed yesterday and you'll find I have retained nothing.
AC because you can't afford to rile HR.
It used to be de rigeur for anyone not interested in sci-fi (roughly most of the literate human race) to laughingly dismiss anything vaguely futurey and dystopian as wank fodder for paranoid propeller heads. It's vaguely pleasing that those who were at the front of the queue to dismiss it as paranoid fantasy are probably now the ones at the front of a very different (and rather less amusing) queue to have their personal peccadilloes and sexual quirks microscopically examined at the whim of someone who probably looks disturbingly like their least favourite schoolteacher.
Nevertheless it would be very wise to put the kybosh on this kind of thing sharpish, or we really will end up in a world even less pleasant than the great writers of the last hundred years could possibly have imagined.
I don't see how I could legally hand over my password
I accept the right of companies to vet staff (especially at the executive as I've witnessed first hand what a minefield that can be) but I see a huge problem for myself in handing over my Facebook password.
In simple terms, all of my Facebook friends have locked down accounts and me handing over my password would be a massive breach of their privacy. Would this not put me substantially in breach of British and European data protection laws and liable for a hefty fine (or even some time at Her Maj's leisure)?
We need a better definition of "Friends"
Friends ought to mean - wll people you know and with whom you are friendly.
Maybe the noun for a person with whom one has the kind of relationship fostered by Farcebook ought to be called something else. "Lamer" perhaps?
Re: We need a better definition of "Friends"
Friends. Lame-arsed yet often amusing American situation comedy revolving around the interaction of 3 male and 3 female 30 somethings. Now defunct.
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.
Re: ... Bozeman
Ah that Bozeman. Story covered by el Reg here: Bozeman ends login grab
Sorry I didn't like from el reg. But thanks for the link. But that just goes to show the mentality of some folks. So asking for FB password does not surprise me one bit.
If someones employing you based on what your facebook profile says, they arnt worth working for in the first place
"You want my password? I'm going to assume that's a trick question, because if it isn't I will take you to court under Article 6 ECHR. I will also ring Facebook UK before I leave the building to inform them you're in breach of their T&Cs. Oh, and the Information Commissioner. I assume you've already looked me up: could you give me the name of your data controller? I'll need their CRB check, which will have to be enhanced as some of my FB friends are minors. While I'm here, might I also remark that I've been taking notes, which I intend to statutorily declare before a Commissioner for Oaths.
Good day to you."
Here is some thing else to think about. Lets say your current employer is nuts and demands that you hand over the password to all websites you go to that has forums. Lets say your only site that fits that criteria is a model rail road model RR site. Rather harmless right ? Nut you are an admin on that site. Now your employer can see deleted post or things that was never meant to be seen by the public. What if your employee deiced by all of the deleted post that you must have some whack jobs on that board. Worse yet your employer has access to the email list. Your employer does a search on the email address and finds out that a lot of them visit sites dedicate to people drinking animal blood doing pagan rituals and then having a giant shag party afterwards. I know it might sound far fetched but and ridiculous but then so is employers asking for FB log ins. I been five years ago if you said that employers were going to ask for this stuff I would of called you a paranoid loon.
Okay ... So whilst asking for your Facebook credentials is not illegal ... In the UK, you're not allowed to ask any of the following questions:
How old are you?
Are you married?
Are you gay?
What are your childcare arrangements?
Are you planning to start a family soon?
Are you a member of a trade union?
What political party do you support?
All of the above can be derived from your Facebook logins and are covered under the Sex Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act, the Employment Equality Regulations and the Disability Discrimination Act.
The punishment for asking any of the above in a job interview and then discriminating the potential employee? The prospective employer can be taked to an employment tribunal and face unlimited fines.
An alternative perspective
The old spy adage, which I'm going to mutilate, applies here: The spy of your enemy is only theirs so long as you aren't aware of them, then they are yours.
Employers want to play this game, that's fine, I'm better at it then they are. Whereas many people have facebook accounts for their own private use, mine was built for the sole purpose of my ( or future employers pursuing it ). Everything I post on there is designed to promote the image of a conscientious employee and caring individual that faces the issues that everyone does, but rises to meet any challenge ( you might call that my facebook page's mission statement ).
Sure, that makes me a manipulative bastard...but then that's a compliment in my book.