Employers asking job seekers for Facebook passwords illegal?


by Ashley Korslien & KREM.com


Posted on March 26, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 27 at 2:22 PM

SPOKANE--There are no specific laws that prevent employers from asking a prospective hire to log onto their personal Facebook pages during an interview.  A local company, however, says requiring job candidates to release their private account information is illegal.

This controversial topic is making headlines all over the country and is causing a big debate about online privacy.

The employees at Pinnacle Investigations perform various types of background checks for employers.  They also use a third party company to research prospective employees’ social media presence.

Pinnacle gives employers the option of finding out the positives and negatives about a possible hire. 

So what’s the difference between what Pinnacle does and employers making you log into your Facebook page?  Pinnacle finds what’s openly shared on the web, and redacts any information you couldn’t legally ask during an interview.

Pinnacle doesn’t release any information that would be protected; such as an applicants gender, race, or if they have religious and political affiliations.  That’s where the company says, employers are making a huge mistake.

While there aren’t specific laws restricting companies from asking about social media, just looking at a profile might give away that classified information.

So when someone asks to see your profile as part of a job interview, Pinnacle suggests that you answer “no.”

A congressional lawmaker from Connecticut is currently drafting legislation that would prosecute employers who require seeing a person’s online profile for an interview.