Facebook Warns Employers Not to Demand for Passwords During Interviews

Just imagine how ridiculous it would be when you’re at a job interview and the interviewer puts a request to you to share your Facebook username and password, in order to perform a check on your Facebook profile entirely. Well, this is what had happened to Justin Bassett, a New York City statistician, when he was interviewed for a new job.

During this time of recessions, there are several number of people who are looking out for jobs and would do anything in order to get one. However, Bassett refused and withdrew his application stating that he didn’t want to work for a company which would peek into his personal life and information available on Facebook.Facebook Privacy

According to the article posted by the Associated Press –

Since the rise of social networking, it has become common for managers to review publically available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates. But many users, especially on Facebook, have their profiles set to private, making them available only to selected people or certain networks.

Companies that don’t ask for passwords have taken other steps — such as asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview. Once employed, some workers have been required to sign non-disparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.

In a response to this ridiculous act by employers, Facebook has warned employers not to demand passwords from job seekers or applicants as it is a clear invasion of privacy that opens companies to legal liabilities. The social networking giant has also threatened to take legal actions against such companies.

The main motto of Facebook is that “you should never have to share your password.” If you’re a user at Facebook, you should never share your password with anyone, not even your close friends. Also, according to Facebook’s legal terms, the company has the right to close your account if you try to obtain passwords from others.

Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, posted an update on Facebook –

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.  But it also may cause problems for the employers that they are not anticipating.  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.

Moreover, any user with your Facebook password can not only gain access to your personal information and photos, but also your friends associated with your profile. All of your friends’ photos, messages, phone numbers, email id, and other personal information will be invaded, which eventually leads to a bigger invasion of privacy.

If in case an employer demands for your Facebook password, then you can quote Facebook’s legal terms, which clearly state that – “You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.”

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Joel Fernandes

Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr. He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte. Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.