Facebook to Employers: Stop Demanding Passwords
Company warns of possible legal action
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2012 5:57 PM CDT
Employers have no right to your Facebook password, says the company.   (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)

(Newser) – Facebook has taken note of the recent trend of employers demanding that prospective or current employees hand over their passwords, and it issued a clear warning to such companies today: Knock it off. "As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job," writes Facebook privacy chief Erin Egan in a blog post. "We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges."

Egan added that employers might invite unanticipated legal trouble if they go poking around, notes TechCrunch. "For example, if an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group (e.g. over a certain age, etc.) that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don’t hire that person." Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is drafting legislation to make it illegal for bosses to ask job-seekers for access to their accounts, notes Politico.

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Mar 24, 2012 7:49 PM CDT
I think, as an employer, I might ask the applicants for their password. And any of them that say "yes" I would dismiss immediately cause anyone who says yes to that, is a sucker. I dont hire suckers.... Seriously though, saying yes to that? Sucker. Now it may be worth it, if saying yes to that got you a 4 mill a year salary and it wasn't a big deal to you, then you may be the sucker laughing at my ass all the way to the bank. But you are still a sucker.
Mar 24, 2012 12:48 PM CDT
Forget it. Many years ago, I was forced to take a polygraph test as a condition of employment, even though it was illegal in the state I was in. The solution - send me to a detective agency across the state line. Employee negotiating with prospective employer is always an unequal playing field - at least, when you're desperate for a job. If you're job hunting, delete all your social media accounts ASAP.
Mar 23, 2012 7:43 PM CDT
How about the Spanish teacher who has been suspended for forcing students access to their FB accounts so they could go on a field trip? She had heard that students had been making negative comments about her. She refused to give parental field trip forms to students who had said something. She even put one students FB page up on a screen for all the students to take note or the ax would fall on them. Maybe she was just a lousy teacher and the negative comments were right on.