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. 


(no subject) - Anonymous
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.
mirhanda 24th-Mar-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
It doesn't make this whole practice any less bad and it needs to be illegal.


Edited at 2012-03-24 06:45 pm (UTC)
idemandjustice 24th-Mar-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
Exactly. If I had to choose between losing my house and giving someone my facebook password, I'm probably going to give them my fucking password.
moonshaz 26th-Mar-2012 03:44 am (UTC)
No shit.

I can't begin to tell you just HOW MUCH I hope to NEVER be in that position, but still...putting food on the table is going to win every time. :-(
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?
crossfire 24th-Mar-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Exactly. It's a privilege to be able to afford to walk away from a job interview.
mirhanda 24th-Mar-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. A lot of people might wish they were in a position to get up and walk out, but they have a mortgage to pay, and kids to feed or rent to pay, or pets they have to care for...there are many reasons someone just can't be idealistic when looking for work, sadly.
wumbawoman 24th-Mar-2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
See that's the thing. I'm not in a more privileged position. I'm not any further away from the edge than anyone else and I fully acknowledge that.

But I think that evilgmbethy said it pretty concisely down below and I do agree with her.

Edited at 2012-03-24 07:20 pm (UTC)
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