Feeds

The Facebook job test: Now interviewers want your logins

Need work? Better hand over that password

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

HPC blog When I wrote this blog about how a recent research study correlated social network behavior with employee success, I speculated that we’d soon see employers trying to circumvent Facebook’s privacy policies in order to get a good look at your Facebook pages.

Well, it turns out that some employers aren’t happy with just seeing the public part of applicant profiles; they’re actually asking prospective employees to turn over their Facebook login and password. Wait, did I get that right? (Looks again.) Yeah, I did. They’re outright asking applicants to give them their Facebook login details as part of the interview screening process.

Other companies are requesting that prospective (and presumably current) employees "friend" HR reps or background-checkers on Facebook. Others are requiring applicants to log in to their Facebook accounts from a company-owned computer – I guess they take screen scrapes of the page for later study, or maybe capture the login keystrokes.

If a company requires you to give them an intimate view of your social networking pages during the interview process, might there be something in the employment agreements that gives them the “right” to take a second, third, or fourth look – whenever they want to – after you’re hired?

All of these practices (and more) are outlined in this Associated Press article.

There’s a fine line between vetting candidates and invading their privacy. In my mind, much of what these companies are asking isn’t just stepping over the line – it’s grabbing the line and flailing you with it.

Others are requiring employees to sign non-disparagement agreements to prevent them from pouring slime on the company in social nets during or after employment. It will be highly interesting to see if – and how – any of these agreements are enforced. "Disparagement" is very much in the eye of the beholder, and often hard to objectively define.

If you work in a restaurant and write a post alleging that your co-workers put unspeakable things in the Friday lunch special, that’s pretty clear-cut disparagement. But if you simply post that you wish the restaurant were better supervised, so that employees can’t put unspeakable things in the Friday lunch special – is that disparaging? Yeah, it probably is, even if it’s true.

We all have to assume that anything we put on the web is something that our employer – or mother – will be able to see. (Well, not my mother. I just spent 27 minutes on the phone talking her through playing a DVD on her TV. I’m a nice boy, though – barely yelled at all.)

I think that we’ll see a few trends emerge from this level of social networking scrutiny. First, employees and prospective employees will pay more attention to what they post and what they allow on their pages. Second, I think that more people will have private social network personas, using secondary accounts under nicknames or pseudonyms. (My favorite fake names: "Brody McCracken" and "Dirk Steele", both are guys who make their own rules and don’t care what “The Man” thinks.)

I also predict that corporate HR departments are going to become the new hotbed for fun as they sift through the most embarrassing Facebook pages imaginable, then send around the results tagged with “What the hell were they thinking?” and “Lots of things sound funny when you’re that drunk.” ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Microsoft builds teleporter weapon to send VMware into Azure
Updated Virtual Machine Converter now converts Linux VMs too
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.