Your Facebook password or...

Wed 21 March 2012 14:35, Ramcy Simoons

Your Facebook password or...

I was just sipping on my second cup of this morning (hey the brand name is personal) when I was stunned by what I call ' a contemporary lesson in bodacious audacity, starring jobseeker and potential employer'

Now before I even considered telling you about it I thought it might just be another pre-april fools' set up, but AP wouldn't have reported on it if it's validity hadn't been checked in triplicate, so here we go..

The story revolved around Mr. Justin Basset, an NY statistician on his merry way to a 'new career',  just like the daily MO of thousands of his compatriots in the US. Nothing strange about that, nor the fact that all of us who delt with recruiters at one time or another in our careers surely expect a somewhat standardized barrage of let's say relevant questions..

But here's where it gets sticky: Justin was right smack in the middle of an interview when the recruiter decided right there and then to do a Facebook search on him and subsequently when the privacy door was slammed in her face demanded that he would give up his username and password in order for her to have a clean whiff of his private profile... 'Excuse me, have you lost your mind?' (just my thoughts jumping off the page). But apparently Justin's thoughts were aligned with mine, because he gracefully thanked the recruiter stating 'I didn't want to work for a company that would seek such personal information' and went onward, forward...what a hero!

Now in this case Justin took a stand and lost a job opportunity (although I am sure that the world wide publicity will pan out in something positive). But questions like “what if you can't afford to stick with your principles?...and should you just hand over your privacy on a platter to an employer in order to have a chance of paying your bills and or support your family?” silently remain on the table...

And what about the legal aspects of such a request? Here's what George Washington Law professor and former federal prosecutor Orin Kerr had to say about it: "It's asking to requiring someone's house keys" "an egregious privacy violation."

Ok, but as this story, amongst many other examples is being played out in the US you can say “well it's not in my backyard, and by the way I have a job...this will never happen over here in the Netherlands nor in the neck of my woods bla bla bla" But as social media on a global scale have become so inevitably intwined with every aspect of our lives or better put our (economic) livelihood should we just roll over on our privacy one individual at a time, or remember and more importantly implement the words of ole Justin?

Tell me what you think dear readers and good luck on your next job interview..





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Comments (2)


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