Sunday, June 28, 2009

This will article doesn't particularly pertaining to Oregon, however, it could.

The Montana news station

Bozeman Montana city jobs require you to turn over your username and password of any social online sites that you belong to as part cities background check when applying for work with the city.

The requirement requires the applicant to sign a waiver statement giving the city permission to conduct an investigation in their background.

The issue at hand is the following...
"Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.," the City form states. There are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords."

The city claims that the positions ranging from fire and police all away down to lifeguards requires people of high integrity for those positions.

"You know, I can understand that concern. One thing that's important for folks to understand about what we look for is none of the things that the federal constitution lists as protected things, we don't use those. We're not putting out this broad brush stroke of trying to find out all kinds of information about the person that we're not able to use or shouldn't use in the hiring process," said city attorney Greg Sullivan.

when asked why the city doesn't just create a face book account so they can view the applicant profile, Sullivan said that city officials could explore that option, however this would limit the city to only view the page of the applicant. No one is ever removed his or her name for consideration for a job due to the request, Sullivan continued.

this is one trend that needs to be stopped before it becomes commonplace. I don't care what the job is... my username and password is something I do not share at all.

I would also think that Bozeman would consider some of the following by this request...
#1 it would expose the city to liability of anything that happens in those accounts. Of course, they might argue that since the applicant has given consent to their username and password,that the city was given permission to do whatever they wish to do within someone's account.

#2 the city's argument is that they hire "the highest moral character", I think I would consider this... if somebody does not have an issue of giving over their own personal usernames and passwords, what makes you think that they would not turn over any sensitive city usernames and passwords.

Especially if applying for another job that has the same requirement.

Where is the ACLU on this one?

9 Comments:

Blogger OregonGuy said...

Chilling effect.

If I had an emloyee blogging about my business in a negative way, sure, I'd like to know it.

But what is "a negative way"? What if these "negative" comments were factual? Would the fact that these comments made me uncomfortable be enough for me to fire this guy, if found?

In fact, there's nothing I can do to either find out if an employee is blogging about me, or not. And, I don't really care. If it is truthful comment and I am a scoundrel, people need to know, even if that disclosure exposes me to loss or shame. Sometimes, loss or shame is earned, innit?

And if I'm getting hit with scurrilous commentary and I don't know about it, how am I worse off? And if I do know about it, at a certain point if it is indeed libel, there are remedies available.

A city arguing that it needs the keys to your home before you can get a job is a city that I wouldn't be willing to work for.
.

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