City stops Facebook snooping

The US city that asked job applicants to hand over Facebook login details has caved in to a wave of negative publicity.

The city of Bozeman, Montana, asked applicants to provide login details for “any internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.”

Managers used the details to investigate potential employees and ensure they were correct for the job. However, the practice sparked outrage and brought a raft of negative publicity to the small city.

“Effective at noon today, the City of Bozeman permanently ceased the practice of requesting that candidates selected for positions under a provisional job offer to provide their user names or passwords for candidates internet sites,” said city manager Chris Kukulski on Friday.

Kukulski went on to say that over the course of a 90-minute meeting officials had decided the intrusive practice “exceeded that which is acceptable”.

“We appreciate the concern many citizens have expressed regarding this practice and apologise for the negative impact this issue is having on the City of Bozeman,” added Kukulski.

Critics of the practice questioned whether such an invasion of privacy was legal, and pointed out that it was against the terms and conditions of most sites to hand over login details to a third party.

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