US employers have stoked anger after it emerged that some are asking prospective employees to proffer up their Facebook username and password as part of an invasive vetting process.
The case of a New York statistician, Justin Bassett, has acted as a fulcrum for the debate after an interviewer brazenly asked him for the details after a computer search revealed that his profile was set to private.
Bassett subsequently withdrew his application.
One Illionis Sheriff’s office defended the practice with chief deputy Rusty Thomas saying such practices were necessary to find “inappropriate pictures or relationships with people who are under age, illegal behaviour."
Other businesses have adopted a slightly more subtle tactic, such as inviting employees to ‘friend’ human resources managers and to sign nondisparagement agreements which bar negatively discussing their job on social media sites.