In a recent report by the Associated Press, New York City statistician Justin Bassett had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for Bassett's Facebook page.

Unable to see his Facebook page due to his privacy settings, the interviewer turned to him and asked him to hand over his login information.

Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn't want to work for a company that would ask for such personal information.

Some US companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person's social networking profiles, and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around, AP reports.

AP further reports, once employed, some workers have been required to sign non-disparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.

"It's akin to requiring someone's house keys," said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it "an egregious privacy violation."

Without a legal impediment to such a specific requirement, proposals have been written for legislation in Illinois and Maryland to forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.

Companies that take a step back from asking for login details ask applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview, which both equate to asking for personal information in a different way.

Unfortunately, not every job seeker in today's cutthroat market could afford to deny handing out personal information for a chance at landing a job. But why should companies require it from applicants today, when recruitment had worked fine without Facebook in the past?

Going to Facebook to asses a person's character not only signals a weakness on the part of a company's human resources department. Recruiters and interviewers are supposed to have been trained to evaluate the applicants' skills and characters through classic and professional methods.

Companies should also consider that good people know how to switch on their professional mode and how to relax and feel free in the company of friends and family. Whether their applicant is able to separate social persona from work persona is something that their human resource department should be able to assess during a professional Facebook-less interview. If, during employment, the interviewer's assessment turns out to be wrong, the company handbook should provide a clause for lawful termination.

There is no genius that could guarantee that a person is perfect for the job and he or she will be happy to keep the job for as long as the company desires by merely looking into the darkest corners of a person's Facebook profile.

If companies would like to stress to applicants that they are not supposed to make disparaging comments against the company, it could be discussed without having to check an applicant's Facebook page. This Facebook infusion during interviews only tells applicants that the company is more concerned of their private lives than what they can deliver to the company.