A job interview will probably require you to divulge parts of your life that are supposed to be talked about: your relevant skills, your employment history. But recently, potential employers have been digging deeper, in some cases asking for your Facebook username and password. Justin Basset, a New York statistician, was interviewing for a job when his interviewer demanded he hand over his information. Is this appropriate or even necessary?
Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University calls the act "an egregious privacy violation" akin to "requiring someone's house keys." What employers are looking to glean from a potential employee's Facebook is baffling — unless your company strictly prohibits having had bad hair and acne circa the early 2000s. Some companies require people to friend the HR representative and force the employee to sign agreements saying they won't talk shit about co-workers (like, say, the HR rep they were just forced to friend).
E. Chandlee Bryan, author of the soon-to-be-out-of-date book The Twitter Job Search Guide, goes on to say that she doesn't agree with companies enforcing the airing of passwords, but makes a point of saying:
"I think when you work for a company, they are essentially supporting you in exchange for your work. I think if you're dissatisfied, you should go to them and not on a social media site."
The legality of being forced to hand over your private information is unfortunately still muddled at this point. While it technically goes against most sites' terms of service, that's pretty tough to enforce. So, depending on how badly you want a job that intrudes on your private life, you better start de-tagging those pictures from 2006 of you playing Edward Fortyhands.