Facebook has recently stepped up its efforts to combat organizations, which have made it a practice to ask Facebook for user-account credentials as part of their recruitment strategy. This is a direct violation of the privacy of Facebook users. Moreover, the activities of a user on Facebook should in no way decide his chances of being hired into a company.
The good news is that Facebook knows this and is willing to respect the privacy of its users. In a post titled “Protecting Your Passwords and Your Privacy”, Facebook has made it clear that it will not tolerate employers asking for user-account details anymore.
The Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, Erin Egan, writes,
Facebook takes your privacy seriously. 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.
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.
Now, Facebook was not exactly precise on the nature of the legal action they would take, and everyone thought it was wise to assume the worst. Seeing this publicity go the absolute wrong way, Facebook has come up with a clarification. It has now issued a second statement discarding any possibility of it suing employers. Although Facebook has decided to take necessary legal actions, suing employers is not on their list of things to do.
We don’t think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don’t think it’s right the 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 policy makers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users.