Lawyer: It's Illegal for Employers to Ask Job Seekers for Facebook Passwords in Canada

by Knowlton Thomas | Culture

A week ago, Elise Moreau wrote about employers asking for job seekers' Facebook passwords during interviews as part of their screening process. No one was happy to hear about employers attempting to access potential employees' social media networks - especially not Facebook.

Now Paul Cavaluzzo, a Toronto-based labour lawyer, has come forth to put job seekers' concerns at ease. He, alongside other lawyers, says that laws in Canada offer strong protection against employers asking for this personal information.

Across the board, legislation is more stringent here than in the US with regards to protecting private information, Paul told Citytv. He noted that, while there aren't yet laws dealing specifically with social media, Canada has "always respected privacy rights."

In a nutshell, employers "do not have ... access to personal information." Facebook passwords are no exception here - so if an interviewer demands your password, feel free to call them out. Or just ask them for their housekeys in exchange; the differences are negligible. 

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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