I have been embroiled in debate over employers asking potential interview candidates for their Facebook password. It is such a fundamental breach of privacy that I almost become apoplectic when I think about it. Unfortunately people applying for jobs are not in power positions, and often feel pressured to comply. As seductive as the potential job may be, do not be seduced.
Facebook has already threatened legal action, and a Senator from Connecticut is writing a bill that would stop the practice of employers asking job applicants for their Facebook or other social media passwords.
However, until that bill is passed, when someone asks in an interview "Can we have your Facebook password?" here are 11 responses you can use.
Top 11 Responses to "Can we have your Facebook Password?" in an interview.
- "I just want one small thing in return, is that ok? Your soul. Would that be cool? I mean, it wouldn't be that hard for you to part with considering you barely have much of one anyway, but I've always wanted to know what it would be like to try one on like that. I just want to carry it around in my pocket in case I run into a situation where I need to do something in total violation of everything I believe in."
"Unfortunately my internet is broken today so I can't." You have to figure that anyone who asks that question is both ignorant of online privacy issues and technically incompetent, so they would probably believe you.
Get up from your seat, get down on the floor and start rolling around laughing, and say "Let's play charades! Guess what acronym I am?"
"Unfortunately no, but how about I give you a sex tape I made? Would that do? It's a bit less revealing but would probably do the trick for you not to hire me."
"Yes. It's f-R-A-K-u-U-I-G-N-R-N-T-A-S-S , and don't forget that the 'f-u' is lowercase."
"Nah, but you can have my Google+ password. Nothing offensive there. Come to think of it, there's nothing really there at all."
"Well, I totally would, seriously, but ya know, Facebook won't let me. I am sooo sorry, but according to their Terms of Service, Section 4.8... 'You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.'"
"This is awesome! Whew!" and when they then look confused continue "Oh, I was just relieved because I just figured out that this company doesn't do drug testing... because you must be frakking high."
"Absolutely! If you offer me a job right now, with a two-year contract, I will happily give it to you."
"Sure. If you provide me with the names of your ex-boyfriends or girlfriends over the last ten years so I can call them and ask them about your sexual appetites I will happily provide it to you. I'm sure you must be very active on fetlife.com because that was some kinky question. Sick even. You dirty little thing." And then sit there and smile.
"Since I am recording this conversation, how about I leak this recording online with you asking that question? Tag it with your name and #privacynazi, feed it to all of the social networks, and because I actually know what I am doing in this business it will go viral... Your question indicates a lack of understanding of the issues surrounding online privacy, and it concerns me that you would be in a position to hire someone who does what I do. So, what I will do is walk out of this office, right now, with that recording, and you can wonder what will happen to it. And that should have you reflect on asking a question so fundamentally ignorant, offensive... and probably illegal. So while you worry if it will ever come out and how it could affect your ability to get any job ever again, maybe it is time to educate yourself on online privacy issues."