Employers Now Want Your Facebook Password -- Um, No Thanks

facebookApplying for a job can be humiliating. You have to wear clothes you don't normally wear; use words you don't normally use; arrange your face in ways you don't normally arrange it. And now, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, things are only getting worse. Now companies are asking would-be employees for the usernames and passwords to their Facebook accounts so they can have a look-see around. Yeah. I know. And some people are actually agreeing to this.

I get that desperate times call for desperate measures and all, but this is ridiculous. Total invasion of privacy. This is a modern-day version of giving someone -- a perfect stranger no less -- your diary, embarrassing crushes and all. The hell is going on, people?


Whatever happened to good old fashioned background checks? Is that not enough now? Potential companies now want to poke around inside your profile? This seems highly illegal -- and highly unethical.

More from The Stir: 10 New Reasons You Should Quit Facebook

If you're applying for a high profile job, I sort of get companies wanting to be able to see your profile. In a way, you could be representing them, and they want to make sure there aren't any photos of you passed out with penises drawn all over your face. Fine. But the whole going into your account thing is just weird. What about all your private messages? You know, the ones that would have no bearing on you as an employee whatsoever? They don't need to see those. How is asking a potential employee's age illegal and not this? I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. 

Tons of people, including Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor, are confounded by the situation. Kerr says, "It's akin to requiring someone's house keys," and calls it "an egregious privacy violation." There's also proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.

I can honestly say that at this point in my life if a company asked me for this personal of information, I'd walk. If I had three kids and there was no food on my table, maybe it'd be a different story -- a really messed up story where the employer was totally taking advantage of me -- but for now, I'm good. And I'm kind of outraged.

Do you think it's right for potential employers to have access to this info?

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