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Facebook Passwords Of Applicants Demanded By Colleges, Government Agencies

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Potential employers don't need to hack into your Facebook account to get past your security settings. They can just ask you for your password.

MSNBC reports that some government agencies and colleges are now requiring applicants to give them their Facebook passwords so that they can see what's behind the privacy wall.

Examples include Maryland's Department of Corrections asking applicants to let an interviewer watch as they log into their Facebook account, as well as some colleges that require athletes to accept friend requests from coaches, according to MSNBC.

The story comes on the same day the San Francisco Chronicle reports that some scholarship providers are using social networks to help decide which candidates to select.

According to the Chronicle, a survey of scholarship providers found that about 75 percent of providers "are looking for behavior that could reflect badly on the scholarship provider, such as underage drinking, provocative pictures, illegal drug use or racial slurs."

Additionally, the survey found that information on applicants' Facebook accounts have led "about one-third" to have been denied a scholarship, while one quarter have been granted a scholarship based on the findings.

Last month, the Illinois legislature introduced a bill that would ban employers from asking for applicants' social media passwords.

"If legislators had to give their Twitter and Facebook account passwords how would they like that?" Rep. La Shawn Ford told WJBC. "They wouldn't like it. They wouldn't want to give their password to anyone because it's their personal password."

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