A city in Montana is asking its job applicants for their usernames and passwords to social networking sites and any other web group they might belong…

A city in Montana is asking its job applicants for their usernames and passwords to social networking sites and any other web group they might belong to as an option in their job application. It’s said to be included only to try to verify information as well as performing checks on online activity since many of these jobs will put people in a position of public trust. It’s basically being used to find out information that couldn’t be asked in a normal application, which can be used to help or to discriminate.   For example, let’s say someone applies to be a police officer and seems like a great candidate until you find out the person is a pedophile through their MySpace. By checking MySpace, the city just saved itself a whole lot of trouble. However, let’s say someone comes in to apply for an assistant position in city hall and seem like a perfect candidate until their Facebook exposes the person as a DJ at a gay club on the weekends. With this information, someone might feel the applicant isn’t fit for the position based on their biases about what the applicant does in their personal life. Public safety and personal privacy seem to be the biggest issues here especially whether one should be sacrificed for the other.   – Ruben

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