Friday 26 June 2009

Privacy invasion, much?

I refer you to the following article:

Basically the government of Bozeman, Montana is demanding people provide their usernames and passwords for websites such as Myspace and Facebook in their job applications.

I am amused at the amount of swear words littering the comments on that article. Ars Technica people are usually so much more civilised, just goes to show how pathetic Bozeman's government is!

Someone else has pointed out that this violates Facebook's Terms of Service:

4. Registration and Account Security

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
6. You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.

It is likely that other sites have similar clauses.

I am wondering if someone has just misinterpreted something here...surely they can't be asking for people's passwords? Why not ask for your house keys and have a look in there! Fair enough if they want to search for prospective employees on the Internet, since anything they do find and access is in the public domain, but this is just a step too far.

People are wondering if it's a trick question - if you do provide your passwords then you're an idiot so you don't get hired. Seems a bit strange to me.

Yet another person is saying that providing your Social Security number (which I assume is the equivalent of Britain's National Insurance number) to a prospective employee is surely even more dangerous than giving out a Twitter password, but I think they've missed the point. The number is to help prove you're eligible to work in the country. Nicking passwords off people is just not in the same league.

The interviewer [from a local news station] was wise enough to point out that there were far less invasive ways of obtaining access to some of this information, such as having Bozeman open its own Facebook account, at which point Sullivan [Bozeman's attorney] apparently said that might be worth looking into.

No, REALLY? Bunch of prats if you ask me.

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