Employers can still find deleted photos

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Bill Radke: The city of Bozeman, Mont. raised eyebrows last week when it asked job applicants to hand over their user names and passwords for Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and other sites. City officials said it's not mandatory, we're just asking -- if you don't want to share the information, that's OK. Privacy advocates were not reassured. Marketplace's Jeff Tyler says workers should not be surprised.

Jeff Tyler: Do you really want a prospective employer to know that:

YouTube Clip: I've been having some medical problems.

That's from a YouTube video by a resident of Bozeman, Mont., who also shares:

YouTube Clip: I sleep naked. And I'm naked a lot.

Giving an employer the password to your social networking accounts may seem crazy, but employers may be able to delve into your online life without your help.

Jeremiah Owyang: Job candidates should expect that recruiters and hiring managers are looking at their social networking profile -- often before they even contact them for an interview.

That's Jeremiah Owyang, a social computing analyst with Forrester Research.

Owyang: Even if you remove content later, such as those party pictures from last Saturday night in Facebook, you can't guarantee just because you turn them off that the content is still gone.

He says digital ghosts of photos or Web pages can survive online for years -- even after you delete them from your machine.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.


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