The NDP Wants to See Your Online Skeletons

I heard an anecdotal story once about a practical joke played by Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes).  In an aim to prove that everyone past the age of 40 has a secret so dark that it holds the potential to ruin their career, he sent a telegram to a dozen of London’s most influential businessmen reading, “All is discovered; flee at once.”
Last week, the NDP executed their modern day equivalent, but they weren’t kidding.  An article in the National Post reports that this year’s nomination package for the B.C. NDP requires that candidates provide their login information for social networking sites.  Why? Think back to 2009, when NDP candidate Ray Lam stepped down after promiscuous photos from his Facebook page were made public.
The NDP is notorious for defending worker’s rights, so this new requirement comes as a bit of a shock.  Candidate Nicholas Simons refused to divulge the information on the grounds that such an action would not only relinquish his right to privacy, but everyone’s he happened to know online.
Is the NDP the harbinger of career death for aspiring leaders or an exception to the rule?  Surely, the appointment of a company CEO raises the same privacy concerns to a board of directors.
With privacy settings constantly changing and uncertainly mounting about whether Facebook actually keeps information private, it is more important than ever to exercise caution.  Be smart about your online presence.  The search results (or lack thereof) for your name on Google are quickly becoming your online resume, and it’s a resume that is very difficult to edit.