City job requres applicants to turn over web usernames/passwords

txyaloo

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Holy shit. Illegal much? They may say the city doesn't use any protected information when evaluating a candidate for hire, but I highly doubt that. I hope someone such as the EFF sues their ass.

While people may let this fly in back woods Bozeman, I can't see it flying in the rest of the country. Never would I even think of accepting a job that requires information such as this being provided to my potential employer. They can run a background investigation easily enough without forcing potential employees to provide their usernames/passwords to websites, email, etc.

Bozeman City job requirement raises privacy concerns

Updated: June 18, 2009 12:09 PM
Attorney Greg Sullivan


Applying for a job with the City of Bozeman? You may be asked to provide more personal information than you expected.

That was the case for one person who applied for employment with the City. The anonymous viewer emailed the news station recently to express concern with a component of the city's background check policy, which states that to be considered for a job applicants must provide log-in information and passwords for social network sites in which they participate.

The requirement is included on a waiver statement applicants must sign, giving the City permission to conduct an investigation into the person's "background, references, character, past employment, education, credit history, criminal or police records."

"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 requirement raises questions concerning applicants' privacy rights.

Article 2, Section 10 of the Montana Constitution reads "the right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest."

The City takes privacy rights very seriously, but this request balances those rights with the City's need to ensure employees will protect the public trust, according to city attorney Greg Sullivan.

"So, we have positions ranging from fire and police, which require people of high integrity for those positions, all the way down to the lifeguards and the folks that work in city hall here. So we do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the City," Sullivan said.

Another concern the applicant raised was that by providing the City with a Facebook user name and password the City not only has access to the applicant's page but also to the pages belonging to all of the applicant's Facebook "friends."

"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," Sullivan said.

When asked about creating a separate Bozeman Facebook page, then asking applicants to add the City as "friend," thus allowing the City to view the applicant's profile, Sullivan said officials could explore the option. This would limit the city to only view the page of the applicant.

No one has ever removed his or her name from consideration for a job due to the request, Sullivan added.
 

greenstang1313

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thats just rediculous. i got a job working for the federal government and i didn't even have much of background check. just some simple questions like "do you or have you ever used any illegal drugs"
 

JDStud6

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thats just rediculous. i got a job working for the federal government and i didn't even have much of background check. just some simple questions like "do you or have you ever used any illegal drugs"

it depends on what type of clearance you have, if any

I would never give any login information to anyone for email or any other account. That's retarded

JD
 

fiveohhhstang

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Kyle and I are moving back to Bozeman right after the babies are born, since that's where I go to school.

I would not fill out any of that information. They can get all the information they need to know about me from my name and ssn.
 

stangin99

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i'm not worried about it, my buddies dad who holds a very high-up position in a major government agency told me if the government did drug tests half of his co-workers would lose their jobs

It's pretty well known that it's better to be truthful about those questions than to lie.
 

greenstang1313

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Kyle and I are moving back to Bozeman right after the babies are born, since that's where I go to school.

I would not fill out any of that information. They can get all the information they need to know about me from my name and ssn.

that means kyles gonna have to give up his XBOX Live account info if he wants to get a city job there:uh oh:
 

hunterp

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The poll that goes along with the story has 99% of readers against the policy. That city attorney is just begging to get sued, especially since most sites' TOS specifically forbid their users sharing login information.
 

LaFlavor

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Luckily for me, the only social sites I am a part of are this one and:

www. go****yourself. com
Login: Noseriouslygo****yourself
PW: Whendonekillyourself

I really kinda want to apply, just so I can write that down.
 
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Dusten

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that is simply amazing. I was unaware my private life was that much a concern of my employers...
 

TERMIN8TR

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As an employer I would absolutely ban the use of the internet during work hours. There are far too many people surfing the web posting on sites like Facebook, SVT Performance, etc... and being very unproductive.
This is no different than stealing from your employer.
Maybe this is an attempt to be able to track an employees habits.
I in no way agree with what that city is trying to do and do believe it is an invasion of privacy.
 

txyaloo

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As an employer I would absolutely ban the use of the internet during work hours. There are far too many people surfing the web posting on sites like Facebook, SVT Performance, etc... and being very unproductive.
This is no different than stealing from your employer.
Maybe this is an attempt to be able to track an employees habits.
I in no way agree with what that city is trying to do and do believe it is an invasion of privacy.

Now that's funny and has absolutely no relevance to the article I quoted.

If people are going to be unproductive, they're going to do it whether the internet is available or not.
 

Dusten

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the city isnt asking for your passwords to monitor your internet use at work, they are asking for them to snoop into your personal life to see if they should hire you.
 

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