Want a job? Then give us your social networking passwords

File this one under “bonkers bureaucracy”.

According to media reports, the city of Bozeman in Montana has been insisting that prospective employees seeking a job with the city must not only reveal if they have accounts with the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Google and YouTube, but must also hand over their user ids and passwords.

The request from the City of Bozeman comes in the form of a form giving consent for a background check to be made on prospective job applicants.

I don’t know about you, but I would have a real problem with some Tom, Dick or Harry poking around in my Facebook or Google Mail account, rummaging around to see if they can find anything unsavoury. Sure, I don’t have a problem if a prospective employer checks out my public profile or wants to see what I’ve chosen to publish to the…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.