Privacy? What’s that?

So this is new.

I’d just settled into my cubicle at the god-awful hour of 7AM when three of my co-workers began having a discussion about social media and company hiring practices. Not our company, but companies in general.

Seems some companies are asking interviewees to provide their Facebook login information so they can check their pages.

(I’ll give you a minute to get over the mind-bogglingness of it all.)

Facebook is nice and allows its users some semblance of privacy (as if anyone really has any privacy these days). This is, of course, frustrating when you’re being Googled and your Facebook page doesn’t pop up, or it does, but you can’t see anything on it. Because your ability to do your job absolutely hinges on your personal life. *Insert eye roll here*

What happens if you don’t turn over your login info? You probably don’t get the job, although the company in question would never admit they didn’t hire you over something as silly as that.

I think we all share in the blame here, though. To an extent, I can understand why certain companies and organizations would be concerned with what their employees are choosing to post to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Take, for instance, the dude in charge of Invisible Children. Supposedly there’s a video out there of him running around naked, doing push ups and jumping jacks. He now claims it’s because of all the added “stress” KONY 2012 has put upon him.

He was probably on something at the time the video was made.

We should be smart enough not to allow anything incredibly stupid to leak out over the Interwebs (so don’t post the photos of your latest keg stand). On the other hand, if you should so choose to post something having to do with your political views, religious choices, sexual orientation, Marvel versus DC Comics, your preference for Thai food over pizza, or any other view point, why on earth would that matter to a potential employer?

Unfortunately, it’s a grey area. I’m thinking it has something to do with social networking, even with privacy settings, is essentially public domain.

But if someone asks for my login info as a condition of hire, I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.

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