It’s not unusual for employers to check out job applicants online, but the city of Bozeman, Montana is going to new extremes. ABC News’ Ki Mae Heussner reports that applicants for Bozeman’s city jobs – like firefighters, policemen, and government workers – are now asked to provide logins and passwords for social networking sites, including Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube.
Bozeman officials say they want the information to verify applications and help judge the character of future employees. But turning over these passwords would give the city access to applicants’ personal photos, messages, and other private data.
Some Bozeman residents are outraged by the invasive application, and the ACLU and legislators are speaking out, calling it an invasion of privacy. Others point out that if they turn over their passwords, applicants would violate the websites’ Terms of Service agreements and could jeopardize their accounts.
So what do you think? Do you think the city went too far? Would you give up your facebook password to a potential employer?