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US legislation preventing employers from asking staff for Facebook passwords, finds favour with UK employees

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As legislation is passed in some US states to prevent employers asking for people’s passwords, a survey by recruiter Barker Ross shows people in the UK are not willing to give potential employers their Facebook passwords.

The survey found 91% of employees asked 'would you give your Facebook password to a potential employers' said no, in a survey conducted by research Company, Usurv, on behalf of Barker Ross.

Some employers in the USA have started to ask for Facebook passwords so they can learn more about job candidates and there is some evidence that the practice might be exported to the UK.

Tim Sutcliffe, director at of Barker Ross comments: "One of the ways that employers can get information about candidates is via social media, but I am not surprised people want to keep their Facebook pages private. You wouldn't expect to give employer the keys to your house so he can look through you photo albums."

"If people can do a job and are well qualified, they shouldn't be professionally assessed by employers looking at their holiday photos. I think business focused social media such as LinkedIn allows people to present their business experience and qualifications and as recruiters that's what we need to know.

"We all know that current and potential employers could use social media to find out more about us. This is why we set privacy settings accordingly on our Facebook sites where we communicate with our close friends and are more careful about how we use more publicly accessible social media such as Twitter."

Interestingly more men than women would give up their Facebook password, with 94.5% of women refusing, but only 87.5% of men saying 'no'.??The survey also indicated that the more educated the candidate the more likely they were to reveal their password, with 92% of A level standard people saying no, with only 79% of people with higher degrees saying no.