Posted: Mar 7, 2012 5:41 PM by Matt Stafford
Updated: Mar 7, 2012 6:18 PM
If the only thing standing between you and a job was giving up your Facebook password to your potential boss; would you do it? That's exactly what some employers are asking for.
"To have my privacy invaded in that way made me feel very awful," says Robert Collins in a video posted to YouTube, titled "Want a job? Password, please!"
Collins was applying for a job with Maryland's Department of Corrections, and says he wasn't happy about being asked for his Facebook password. He contacted the American Civil Liberties Union.
Now the ACLU is supporting Collins; saying asking for the password is going too far.
"Your personal life is separate from your work life," says Bethany Winslow, a junior business student at University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
Even with graduation a year away, and hearing about the tough job market ahead; Winslow wouldn't give up her password.
Neither would Brandon McElroy; to him, what that says about the employer might take THEM out of the running.
"I don't agree with giving my password to people, so I would probably look elsewhere," says McElroy, also a UCCS junior studying business.
Those are lines that you might expect to hear from students, but what about people familiar with the struggle of finding work?
Pam Long has been looking for a job for about a year.
"I'd still say, ‘no'," Long says. She doesn't think there's any reason for them to need that much access; she'd show them her page, but says it still leaves her with an unsettled feeling.
"When is it enough?" asks Long.
Deanna Lester Clark had been looking for work for two years when she was asked for her password; she said, "No".
"Because that's my personal business and my life, and I know how to keep my work and my personal life separate," says Carter.
Even not giving up her password, Carter still got the job.
"Asking for the password is a way, in a sense, of getting the individual's consent of saying, "Yes, you can go look; I don't have anything to hide," says Steve Fehl, training facilitator for Pikes Peak Workforce Center.
"It becomes, in one sense, a legal protection for the employer to do it that way."
Attorneys tell News 5 it's questionable for employers to ask for that kind of information.
Fehl suggests keeping your page cleaned up; just in case.
"I'm not sure the employer should have the right to look at that information, but there's not enough right now to say they can't," says Fehl.
One tip that Fehl adds, if you plan to give your password to your potential employer; let them have it for a few days to a week, and then change your password.