Applying For A Job? Great, Give Us Your Google And Facebook Passwords

ReadWriteWeb has a scary article about the city of Bozeman, Montana. It doesn’t sound like a scary place, but if you want to say, work for the City, you’ll need to give them all your social networking usernames and passwords.

ReadWriteWeb says:

The form (PDF) is a standard waiver that allows the city to perform a background check, which is obviously a routine procedure, but in addition, the city asks prospective employees to “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,, MySpace, etc.” The form provides three lines for entering this information.

Handing over your password, of course, allows the City to poke around in all of your business — including search history and email archive.

The local TV station picked up the story and, according to city attorney Greg Sullivan they don’t look at, “the things that the federal constitution lists as protected things,” and maintains that no one has removed their name from consideration because of the requirement.

So why do they even need your passwords? Mr. Sullivan says the City has “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.”

My moral character says it’s wrong to poke around in an applicant’s personal life, but what do I know.

Want to Work for the City of Bozeman, MT? Hand Over Your Social Network Logins and Passwords
[ReadWriteWeb] (Thanks, David!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.