Facebook: Giving Password to Employers Violates Privacy


Facebook says it is a violation of privacy for businesses to request employee’s Facebook passwords. See here a video report from Newsy:

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Transcript by Newsy



Snoop alert! Facebook is blaring a warning to its users and anyone else who will listen.

Warning that employers are increasingly seeking access to Facebook users’ accounts, without permission.

Here’s the company’s posting on its website.

“As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job.”

Facebook’s reaction comes after an Associated Press investigation which revealed the practice.

The Verge agrees, employers are treading dangerous waters.

“…besides the fact that asking for someone’s Facebook password is as ridiculous as asking someone to let you rifle through their email inbox. … anyone with your password has instant access to all of your friends’ pictures, phone numbers, email addresses, and private messages, which turns the practice into an even bigger invasion of privacy.”

MSNBC also reported on how government and universities are jumping on the bandwagon.

“A recent revision in the handbook at the University of North Carolina is typical: ‘Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings,’ it reads. ‘The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts.’”

So, a lot of tough talk. But is Facebook willing to back it up —  legally? Forbes thinks it won’t have to.

“I think it’s unlikely the big blue social giant would actually sue an employer greedy for applicants’ passwords. Perhaps they’d send a cease-and-desist letter, but I think it’s more likely the company will be working its PR and lobbying magic to bring a halt to the privacy invasion.”

Connecticut Senator and former state attorney general Richard Blumenthal is already drafting legislation to outlaw the practice, calling it coercion.  Politico notes, employers have other means of monitoring social networking.

“Employers have always been able to scrutinize social network accounts when prospective and current employees allow their photos, comments and other data to be public by default.”

Facebook goes on to say, it doesn’t think employers have the proper training, let alone access clearance, to deal with all the information it can gather.

Transcript by Newsy.

(Image source: newsy video)

Sources: Facebook The Verge MSNBC Forbes Politico

About the author


Norberto Moreau is co-owner of the group Allied Management Ltd (Hong Kong, London, Valencia). The group and his associates have activities in Yachting, Properties and IT.