Facebook to Employers: Don’t Ask for the Passwords of Job Seekers

Last week, there was an uproar when the topic of employers asking job seekers for Facebook login information during interviews was brought to public attention. Now, Facebook itself has stepped in with a firm stance.

The social network is warning employers not to demand the passwords of interviewees, noting that it is an invasion of privacy – and that legal consequences are plausible. Facebook cautions companies to steer clear of requesting personal social media information.

“If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password,” Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan wrote in a blog post.

In recent months, we’ve seen a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people’s Facebook profiles or private information. This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends. It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.

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.

While we will continue to do our part, it is important that everyone on Facebook understands they have a right to keep their password to themselves, and we will do our best to protect that right.

(Letter condensed.)

Photo: The Telegraph