Last year, we reported that a police department in North Carolina was requiring applicants to provide their social network passwords to interviewers to be considered for a job. What was once an isolated practice has begun to spread, with more and more applicants being asked to surrender their privacy than ever before.
It's a terrifying new world for anyone who cherishes their privacy. Those applying for jobs at the Maryland Department of Corrections are asked to log in to their Facebook account. Though the interviewer doesn't have direct control over the account, applicants are still asked to click through various posts and photos, giving their future employer a look at what goes on behind the privacy wall.
And it's not just job applicants being asked to share private information — college students are being monitored, too. Many student athletes are required to add a coach or other college official as a "friend," so that their activity can be monitored. Some colleges even automate the process with software.
As you can imagine, the process is not incredibly popular and has privacy advocates up in arms. A number of Maryland state lawmakers have filed bills to ban the practice; other states are considering similar bills. And the act of giving away your Facebook password is a violation of the Facebook Terms of Service.
Allowing the Maryland Department of Corrections access to your private postings is a voluntary part of the application process, but the rough economy is pressuring more applicants into surrendering their privacy. The college athletes aren't so lucky — without giving their coaches access, they can't play. Though you may feel like keeping your personal information private puts you at a competitive disadvantage in the job hunt, Tecca recommends you never share your passwords with anybody.
[Image credit: Vestman]
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