In a new development on yesterday’s story, the City of Bozeman, Montana must have been listening to the cacophony of criticism from privacy and employment lawyers alike relating to its new policy asking job applicants for their username and passwords for social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace

The Billings Gazette reports that the Bozeman City Commission has voted to abandon the policy, which one commissioner called an "egregious violation of privacy."  Interestingly, the policy has been in place for well over a year, but nobody bothered to look closely at the privacy or employment law implications until the media picked up on the story.

Given that most HR professionals wouldn’t dream of asking applicants about the kinds of information easily found on social networking sites (even without needing a password), this reversal of course falls in the "better late than never" category of HR decisions.