Increasingly, employers are asking job applicants to hand over their Facebook user names and passwords, presumably so that they can determine the suitability of an applicant.
The practice has sparked an outcry from privacy advocates and prompted Facebook itself to weigh in. Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, recently released a statement saying, “We don’t think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords, because we don’t think it’s the right thing to do.” Egan went on to remind both employers and job applicants that “we’ve made it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.” The company warned that it would take action, including legal action, to protect users’ privacy and security.
Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) proposed a measure last month prohibiting employers from insisting job applicants reveal their passwords, but it was defeated in the House. Two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), have asked the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate whether employers who do ask for passwords are violating federal laws.
This week’s “YouSpeak” asks: Do employers have the right to ask for your Facebook password?
“YouSpeak” typically appears each Monday.
If you have a suggestion for a question we should ask, post it in the comments section below.