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Published March 20, 2012, 10:15 PM

Hand Over Your Resume, References and Facebook Password?

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Instead of gaining access through Facebook to view private pictures and posts, some employers may now ask you for your Facebook username and password.

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Instead of gaining access through Facebook to view private pictures and posts, some employers may now ask you for your Facebook username and password.

The idea is drawing a lot of attention, especially from college students who are beginning to apply for jobs.

Forget wasting your time putting tagged pictures on "private."

There is no law preventing employers from gaining person information such as usernames and passwords, but if the employer uses the information they find against the employee, well that employer could find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

For some it's hard to believe a password may not be private anymore.

"As far as gaining your password and stuff they might be a little bit overboard," said Junior UND student, Jesse Castle.

"I don't think that's fair that potential employers get to see that without your permission," said Sophomore UND student, Tasha Bonn.

Those embarrassing pictures and private posts most try to hide from future employers isn't the only thing they could find.

"I know there's quite a few of my friends that put stuff on there that probably shouldn't be on there," said Castle.

In fact it may be true that there's more cons than pros for those companies that do gain access.

"Even if the employer can lawfully gain access to that, do they even want that because if you can gain access to an employee's personal social media account you may find out things that you can't lawfully know as an employer and can't lawfully take action based on," said Labor and Employment Lawyer, Lisa Edison-Smith.

Race, sex, and religion are all under that category.

"Log on and show me what's on your account right now, I don't think it's a good idea is because, what are you going to do with that information and what kind of information might you see, might you see that person's a member of a labor union, well you can't discriminate on that basis, might you see they're a member of a particular religion, you can't discriminate on that basis," said Edison-Smith.

It makes for a sticky situation. When companies learn that lawsuits can be filed--they may want to steer clear of gaining password access without telling that employee, in fact it's never lawful to gain access without the knowledge of the employee.

"That employer should notify any applicants or employee's if they're going to monitor social media and they should only monitor private protected password information and they should only monitor it with the knowledge of that employee," said Edison-Smith.

Even knowing these employers could face lawsuits for using information in a discriminatory way, has some a bit queasy.

"I would probably deactivate my entire Facebook," said Junior UND student Paige Faymoville.

But it still doesn't stop others.

"It's not going to stop me, if I want a job, I'm going to go after it. It doesn't matter what my personal life dictates," said Senior UND student, Rob Jeffries.

Asking for an employee's password is more common in agencies such as police officers and 911 dispatchers.

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