Saturday, March 24, 2012

Facebook threatening to sue employers who require passwords

It was only a matter of time before the regent of the social realm got involved in this employers-wanting-Facebook-passwords business.

Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan issued a statement on Friday regarding Facebook's stance on their users' privacy in the job search.

Read on to see what they had to say...

The issue of your digital identity interfering with the professional is nothing new. When it first started happening to 20-somethings who called in "sick" to booze it up only to have their Bueller-esque schemes foiled by a status update, it was ironic and entertaining.

Now, with some of the highest unemployment rates for the 20-35 demographic in history, job seekers are reporting that some employers are coercing applicants for Facebook passwords as a condition of employment.

Now, Facebook angry.

This is called "solicitation of passwords" and it is a violation of their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Egan says in the statement:

"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.
"As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job. That’s why we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password." 

There's been some kickback from several parties, including the nearly 500 million current users. Notably, the Associated Press reports that U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is taking the issue to task:
"'These practices seem to be spreading, which is why federal law ought to address them. They go beyond the borders of individual states and call for a national solution,' said Blumenthal, who first spoke to Politico on Wednesday."
This is certainly scintillating fodder for the Monday afternoon water cooler sesh, so let OMNIpixel know in the comments if you or someone you know has had a cyber-creep employer.

VIA: Ars Technica
SOURCE: Facebook

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