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Employers and colleges asking for your Facebook password during application

The ACLU is furious over reports of employers asking interviewees to provide their Facebook account password.

The ACLU is furious over reports of employers asking interviewees to provide their Facebook account password.

After reports of the Maryland Department of corrections asking job applicants to log into their Facebook account while the interviewer watched, the ACLU is investigating other claims of invasion of privacy by employers looking to seize applicants Facebook account passwords.

Colleges and universities are also employing software that tracks applicants on Facebook through wall posts to give applicants a “score” used to determine their eligibility based on certain criteria.

Bradley Shear, a Washington D.C.-lawyer says schools and employers are violating the first amendment when engaging in such activities.

“I can’t believe some people think it’s OK to do this,” he said. “Maybe it’s OK if you live in a totalitarian regime, but we still have a Constitution to protect us. It’s not a far leap from reading people’s Facebook posts to reading their email. … As a society, where are we going to draw the line?”

Shear thinks schools also incur a liability when doing so.

“What if the University of Virginia had been monitoring accounts in the Yeardley Love case and missed signals that something was going to happen?” he said, referring to a notorious campus murder. “What about the liability the school might have?”

Bills in the Maryland legislature this year are going to be voted on that will block employers and colleges access to applicants’ Facebook passwords.

First off, why would you want to work for a person like this? And you know you can block access to Facebook using the site’s account and privacy settings.

Student athletes are even being asked to hand over their Facebook password.

A Facebook spokesman said its against the Terms of service and an account violation to share your password with others.

Police departments in North Carolina have a section on their job application stating:

“Do you have any web page accounts such as Facebook, Myspace, etc.? If so, list your username and password.”

Shear concluded with, “We need a federal law dealing with this,” he said. “After 9/11, we have a culture where some people think it’s OK for the government to be this involved in our lives, that it’s OK to turn everything over to the government. But it’s not. We still have privacy rights in this country, and we still have a Constitution.”

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