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A big 91% ‘no’ to giving up Facebook password to employers, according to Barker Ross research

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

91% of those asked ’Would you give your Facebook password to a potential employers’ said no, in a survey conducted by Real Time Market 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. But this survey commissioned by multi-sector recruiter Barker Ross, shows that the idea will not be welcomed.

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.



Suzanne Orsler, Tel 07813 131350,
Jackie Moore, Tel 07595 893476,

Note to editors:

In the US On 1st August, 2012 it was announced that Illinois is making it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for passwords to their online profiles. The law protects both current employees and prospective hires. The legislation, which takes effect Jan. 1, does not stop employers from viewing information that isn't restricted by privacy settings on a website. Employers are also free to set workplace policies on the use of the Internet, social networking sites and email.

Maryland currently has a similar law, and several other states are considering bans, including Washington, Delaware and New Jersey. Two U.S. senators have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review whether such password requests from employers are legal.
The Barker Ross survey was conducted on 6th August, via online research company Usurv.

Four hundred people were asked if they would give their Facebook password to potential employers.

The Barker Ross Group has dedicated recruitment teams operating in the food, agriculture, waste, industrial, logistics, construction, civil engineering, energy, technical, engineering and housing sectors. All teams source and supply temporary, contract and permanent workers.

The group also includes Cardea, a recruitment business serving the health and social care sectors.

The Barker Ross Group has offices across the UK, in Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Durham & London.