Bozeman, Montana changes its mind about job applicants' social networking passwords

The town of Bozeman, Montana has rescinded its policy requiring job applicants to submit their logins and passwords for all social network sites, email accounts, etc, as part of its background check process.

The city announced in a meeting (PDF) on Monday that it had suspended the practice as of Friday, June 19 and that it would update its hiring procedures within 30 days to determine a more appropriate level of screening for employees…

It's clear now, however, that the city has gotten a major whiff of its own bad PR and has decided to back off. In its meeting yesterday, city officials clarified that no candidate was ever disqualified for not disclosing the login info, and that the only staff to review password-protect information was the HR department. Still, the city is red-faced over the incident. "We appreciate the concern many citizens have expressed regarding this practice and apologize for the negative impact this issue is having on the City of Bozeman," City Manager Chris A. Kukulski said in a statement.

"This was an honest mistake," he continued. "Human Resources, our Police and Fire Departments were doing something they believed was consistent with our core values. I take full responsibility for this decision and we will work hard to regain the trust and confidence of the City Commission and our community."

Bozeman apologizes, backs down over Facebook login request