Facebook blasts snooping employers

Posted at 03/26/12 11:23 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, California - Facebook on Friday blasted employers that want to peer at what workers have posted on their personal accounts at the world's leading social network.

Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan urged members of the online community not to share passwords with current or potential employers and warned companies to resist pressing for access.

"In recent months we've seen a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people's Facebook profiles or private information," Egan said in a blog post.

"The most alarming of these practices is the reported incidences of employers asking prospective or actual employees to reveal their passwords."

She argued that snooping employers undermine the privacy of workers, and their friends at Facebook, while exposing themselves to legal risks.

For example, prospective employers could be accused of discriminating against an applicant based on seeing Facebook account information revealing someone's age or sexual preference.

"You shouldn't be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job," Egan said.

"As the friend of a (Facebook) 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."

To enforce the point, Facebook made it a violation of its policy to share or solicit an account password.

"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," Egan said.


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