Facebook is warning employers not to
demand passwords as part of job interviews - in the wake of controversy
over the intrusive practice.
chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, stepped in on Friday in a post which
said, 'If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your
networking company says that it would even consider suing firms that use
the practice. It also warns firms could open themselves up to legal
challenges from job candidates.'We have worked really hard at Facebook to give you the tools to control who sees your information,' says Egan.
why we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and
Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.'Job applicants
at the Maryland Department of Corrections were asked to allow the
interviewer to watch as the applicant logged into Facebook and clicked
through photos, messages, and wall posts that were behind the privacy
wall. In a post on Friday,
Facebook's chief privacy officer cautions that if an employer discovers
that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer may
open itself up to claims of discrimination if it doesn't hire that
person.The practice is already highly controversial.
crying foul, like the American Civil Liberties Union who says that the
practice is a clear violation of personal privacy. They say that while ‘shoulder
surfing’, as the practice is called, may technically be voluntary, the
vast majority of applicants feel obligated to open up their lives to
their employers or risk losing the job.
extreme case was that of Robert Collins, who had been working for the
Department for years before they asked him to give his email and
‘Here I am, a us citizen who hasn’t
broken any laws, who hasn’t committed any crimes, and here I am having a
prospective- well, not prospective in my case- an employer, looking at
my personal communications, my personal posts, my personal identifiable
information,’ he said in a video produced by the ACLU.Others strongly request that
the candidate opens their pages in front of them and allow their
would-be bosses to scroll through their private information during the
interview.‘It’s an absolute and total invasion and total overreach on their part,’ Mr Collins said.
his case, the Department suspended the policy for 45 days before
compromising on ‘shoulder surfing’ as an alternative.
the prospect of revealing the inner workings of your social life seems
daunting, it has only lead to serious consequences in a few cases: of
the 2,689 applicants that the Maryland Department of Corrections
examined, only seven were denied the position based on items
interviewers discovered behind privacy walls. In addition to creating an awkward situation for potential employers, it also forces them to break Facebook policy.
will not share your password ... let anyone else access your account or
do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account,’
the site’s policy stipulates. Facebook
spokesman Frederic Wolens spoke with MSNBC and while he would not
comment on the specific case of the Maryland Department of Corrections,
he speculated that the practice was against the site’s terms of service.
‘Under our terms, only
the holder of the email address and password is considered the Facebook
account owner. We also prohibit anyone from soliciting the login
information or accessing an account belonging to someone else,’ he told
the news site.
an effort to avoid this situation, the University of North Carolina has
instated a policy that forces student athletes to ‘friend’ at least one
of their coaches so that they can constantly monitor what the students
worries come from experience, as former football player Marvin Austin
posted about making very expensive purchases while still a student. The
post prompted an investigation by the National Collegiate Athletics
In: Regional News
Tags: Facebook, threatens, to, sue, employers, who, demand, passwords, in, job, interviews
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