Facebook: You Should Never Have to Share Your Password with Employers

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When the story broke about some employers asking potential employees for their Facebook passwords in job interviews, the public was understandably upset. Apparently, so was Facebook.

This morning, the company’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan came to the defense of the company’s users, stating that nobody has the right to ask for your password:

As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. 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. That’s why we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.

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That exact wording in that Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is “You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.” That means anytime you share your password with an employer, you are technically violating the legal terms of your agreement with Facebook.

That’s not all. Egan goes on to point out that employers who do this are opening themselves up to legal complications. For example, if the interviewer sees that someone is a member of a protected group, their company could get hit with a discrimination lawsuit.

The ACLU has also been vocal on the issue. Yesterday it announced that its efforts had convinced Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to write a bill “in the very near near future” outlawing the practice.

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