I know I wouldn’t. That’s a true violation, but a man in Baltimore was recently asked for his social media passwords when he reapplied for his former job as a corrections offer, and to make matters worse, he had to watch as his personal page and its postings were perused by an investigator during the interview!
These dayum jobs are going way to far! What’s next? Bank account and voice mail PINs?
Full story below:
In an interview Wednesday morning, Collins said his immediate reaction to the investigator’s request “was one of disgust and shock,” but he was told such demands were “part of the hiring process.”
Collins, who was a previous employee of the Maryland Department of Corrections, re-applied for the job after takeing a four-month leave of absence last year after his mother died.
He said he had “no choice” but to agree to the investigator’s demand.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services released a statement saying:
“If any information is provided by an applicant it is done so voluntarily. If an applicant does not provide this information, it is not held against them and the interview process moves forward.”
But Collins said that was never indicated to him, “nor was that the implication, nor was there any mention that it was a voluntary process,” he explained.
“I felt like if I didn’t comply completely with the process I wouldn’t get my job back, that I would no longer be considered for reinstatement to my position,” said Collins, who has two children.
“I felt I was being treated like a person who had committed a crime, and that my whole life was being scrutinized under a microscope.”
According to Collins, the re-certification process included a 2010 November interview where an investigator asked for, among other things some very private information regarding his use of social media.
“He began to ask me which networks I had the social media accounts on. Then he began to request user name and password information, personal log in information for this stuff,” stated Collins.
The information he was asked to give, he says, was bothersome because he felt his privacy and that of his Facebook friends was being invaded and that’s the reason he called the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who has been fighting that policy since late last year.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to resolve it quickly and we’re able to ensure it stops in Maryland, that it doesn’t go to other Maryland agencies, and it doesn’t go to other governments across the country,” says Meredith Curtis with the ACLU.
In a response to the ACLU, explained that gang activity was the primary reason for their request to delve into applicants personal networking activities:
“The department’s efforts to explore an applicant’s behavior on social media networks stems not from a desire to invade personal privacy, but rather from a legitimate and serious concern with the infiltration of gangs into our prisons,” Maynard wrote in his letter to Sara N. Love, president of the ACLU’s Maryland chapter.
“I am sure you would agree that permitting applicants who engage in illegal activities, or have gang affiliations, to be employed as correctional officers compromises the safety of all inmates and employees within our prison walls.”
In the meantime, the State Division of Corrections has backed off, saying it will suspend such demands for 45 days during a review of the matter and Collins has been given his old job back.
I guess all is well that ends well.
Would you give up your Twitter/Facebook passwords for your dream job??