ONTD Political

UPDATE: Facebook warns employers not to demand password from job applicants

8:27 pm - 03/23/2012

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Facebook is warning employers not to demand the passwords of job applicants, saying that it's an invasion of privacy that opens companies to legal liabilities.

The social networking company is also threatening legal action against those who violate its long-standing policy against sharing passwords.

An Associated Press story this week documented cases of job applicants who are being asked, at the interview table, to reveal their Facebook passwords so their prospective employers can check their backgrounds.

In a post on Friday, Facebook's chief privacy of policy officer cautioned that if an employer discovers that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer may open itself up to claims of discrimination if it doesn't hire that person.

"As a user, you shouldn't be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job," wrote Erin Egan. "And as the friend of a user, you shouldn't have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don't know and didn't intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job."

Not sharing passwords is a basic tenet of online conduct. Aside from the privacy concerns, Facebook considers the practice a security risk.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said that the company doesn't think employers should be asking applicants for their passwords because "we don't think it's the right thing to do."

"While we do not have any immediate plans to take legal action against any specific employers, we look forward to engaging with policymakers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users," he said.

Glad to hear fb is speaking out about this. 


wumbawoman 24th-Mar-2012 03:38 am (UTC)
Excuse my language....

Who in the FUCKING hell would give ANY of their social media passwords to an employer?!?! Prospective or current.

Am I just that old that I would get up and walk away from the interview table or am I that cranky?

Maybe it's both.
tabaqui 24th-Mar-2012 03:41 am (UTC)
Man, this. If they asked i'd just be all 'uh, no'. I mean - seriously? Insane.

Plus, actually, my FB is not in my lj name *or* my real name, so it's not like i'd give it out, anyway.
draion 24th-Mar-2012 03:42 am (UTC)
I can't believe employers in this day and age would have the nerve to ask for them. I'd simply tell them that the password I use is the same one I use for other sites/important financial online access usernames, and if they wouldn't be fine with that, then I'd just thank them for their time and wish them luck in finding someone more willing to give up their privacy for the sake of obtaining a job.

Fucking ridiculous.
thevelvetsun 24th-Mar-2012 03:47 am (UTC)
I'd say "I'll trade you my password for your house key."
dramaturgy 24th-Mar-2012 03:58 am (UTC)
If you're old and cranky, so am I.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
brookiki 24th-Mar-2012 06:33 am (UTC)
Sounds more like you're just in a more privileged position than a lot of people are these days, especially when they're actively searching for a job.

This. The comments on this and the other post about this made me rage so much because people who keep saying "Well, I would never give my password out in that situation" or "I would never have this problem because I wouldn't get caught with a Facebook page," or "I'm okay because my profile is completely sanitized and there wouldn't be a problem."

Okay, great, maybe it doesn't impact you because you're oh so smart and oh so savvy and would just never be in that situation. Guess what? It doesn't make this whole practice any less bad and it needs to be illegal.
effervescent 24th-Mar-2012 07:01 am (UTC)

If it came down to food on the table or going hungry, being able to support themselves or their kids or not, I think a lot of people will do it because they're backed into a corner.

And employers know this. And they do it anyway.
pandaseal 24th-Mar-2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you. If I lost my SSDI and it comes down to food or giving out a password, guess what I'm doing?
evilgmbethy 24th-Mar-2012 06:53 am (UTC)
well it's a bad economy and that's by design. I honestly think that the very wealthy in this society don't want the economy to get better, because when it's bad, workers get more desperate, and are willing to debase themselves like this just to survive.
bettalaylow 24th-Mar-2012 06:54 am (UTC)
If you're desperate for a job and a potential employer brings about your page and asks for your password.
effervescent 24th-Mar-2012 07:06 am (UTC)
I think it really depends on how desperate the person is for that paycheque, and that's why it's all sorts of wrong, beyond the privacy invasion. Asking this puts people on the spot in a horrible fashion.
crysania4 24th-Mar-2012 11:58 am (UTC)
Probably someone who is desperate for a job and has no other prospects and has been unemployed for awhile? If this becomes normal at ALL, I'd probably change the name my FB is under and then tell them I didn't have one at all or I'd tell them to stuff it and walk out. I think what I chose to do would depend on my level of desperation and job prospects.
mirhanda 24th-Mar-2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Someone who has been unemployed and desperately seeking a job, any job, since this recession started?
amyura 24th-Mar-2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
It's not that you're old, it's that you can't imagine what it's like to be desperate enough to put up with it.

Really, that's the entire problem with the libertarian ideal of employers self-regulating in order to attract the best employees. If they're richer enough than their employees and customers, or the economy is bad enough, there is no incentive to self-regulate. Currently, they are and it is, so they don't.
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