Social networking has become a large part of most of our lives and it appears that potential employers are starting to take notice. In fact, companies are apparently taking such notice of how often people use sites like Facebook (News - Alert) that they are starting to use the sites as tools in employment and background checks.
More and more businesses are requiring that job applicants turn over their social networking logins as part of the process. This of course can be quite consternating to people during a time when so many are desperate for work and the practice has caught the eye of at least one United States Senator.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has announced that he will be introducing a bill later this week that would bar companies from demanding their applicants turn over this information. “I am very deeply troubled by the practices that seem to be spreading voraciously around the country,” Blumenthal recently told online news magazine Politico. He added that employers already have “a lot of ways to find out information” about their candidates.
This announcement comes at the same time that Facebook is warning companies that they could face legal action if they request job applicants’ username and password. Facebook is one company that needs to regain the trust of their users after a year that saw several high profile breaches undercut that trust. Facebook had gained a reputation of being far too willing to divulge information about their users and that has led to a bit of a cut down on how some people use the site.
Blumenthal believes that privacy is important, even when it comes to online activities, though the senator did say that he would most likely work in some companies that would be exempt from the new law. Government agencies and those that deal with classified information might still be able to require applicants to turn over their social networking logins. For now Blumenthal did say that he would require most contractors that have government dealings to abide by the bill should it eventually pass and become the law of the land.
Edited by Jennifer Russell