City Asks Applicants For Internet Passwords

Bozeman, Mont., is causing a stir among job seekers, privacy advocates and lawmakers.

When people apply for a job with the city, they are asked for their user names and passwords for social networking groups.

That's sparking an outcry from those who say the policy goes way too far. The issue has spawned hundreds of comments on Web forums and sharp criticism from legislators and the ACLU.

Amy Cannata with the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana says it "crosses the privacy line."

The city argues that it only uses the information to verify application information -- and says it won't hold it against anyone for refusing to provide it.

Bozeman City Commissioner Jeff Rupp said he was unaware city officers had implemented the policy. But Rupp says it is not as bad as it sounds, since applicants are not scored negatively for refusing to answer the question.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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