1 Jun 2012
The Extinction of Privacy?
We all know when applying for a job that prospective employers will not just be reading our carefully crafted cover letters or the CVs we spend hours slaving over.
In today’s world of instant messaging and online social networking, it appears that more and more of our lives are exposed to prospective employers before they even meet us.
Think to yourself how often you’ve looked on LinkedIn to find your interviewer’s profile, or how much of your research into a recruiting organisation you’ve done through the company blog, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest page.
As things stand it’s pretty much the norm to expect prospective employers to do the same to their job candidates, and most of us have come to accept this as a fact of modern life.
It’s safe to assume that our online output will be perused before we are invited to an interview, and the need to keep your social networking output ‘clean’ is one that’s inspired many articles and the odd story like this one of people being ‘let go’ because of ill-judged comments they share online.
But adding a new dimension to the online research companies do is the increasing popularity of employers requesting a candidate’s Facebook username and password so they can even access a candidate’s personal conversations on the site.
This article from The Telegraph discusses how the practice has become increasingly common in the USA and is creeping over to the UK.
According to the article the issue has become so widespread in the USA that it has begun to spark political debate in the senate, with ‘two senators (who) specifically want to discover if this practice violates the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’
It’s nearly impossible to deny that requesting this sort of information from a job candidate is going too far, particularly as what we write in a private Facebook message is not related to how well we will perform at work. However as our lives become increasingly documented on the internet and savvy job hunters ensure their output is guarded by secure privacy settings, it looks as though employers are using every possible avenue to find more information about us.
Although this shows a worrying tendency for some organisations to go past the line of acceptable recruitment practices the temptation to ask a job candidate for this sort of disclosure is becoming something more organisations are willing to do.
What are your thoughts on giving your Facebook login to a prospective employer?
We would love to hear from you.