Privacy Law

Mont. Town Rescinds Rule Requiring Job Seekers to Reveal Social Web Passwords


Rescinding a controversial hiring policy that one commissioner called “a gross invasion of privacy,” the governing body of Bozeman, Mont., voted yesterday that its human resources department would no longer require job applicants to reveal their personal passwords to social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The 2008 policy was intended to help the city complete a thorough background check, but went considerably beyond commonplace employer reviews of information publicly available on social networking sites, according to the Billings Gazette. It may also have violated the terms of use of some sites.

A copy of the release (PDF) formerly used by the city to obtain this information is provided by the Digits blog of the Wall Street Journal.

In the future, the town’s city commission will reportedly approve changes to hiring policy, and there has also been a call for more advance consultation with the legal and information technology departments.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Town Requires Job Seekers to Reveal Social Media Passwords”

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