Last year, there was a bit of news coverage on employers asking job applicants for their Facebook logins and passwords as part of the application process. To be clear, this is not asking applicants to friend someone in HR or in the company, which is one thing, but asking for full access to the account.
The organizations who did this defended the practice by saying “if people have nothing to hide, they won’t mind,” apparently ignoring laws (which exist in many countries) against asking job applicants personal questions about their marital status, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation. And that’s just one issue; there are also questions about whether it is legal to coerce someone to violate Facebook (or any other company’s) Terms of Service, for example. Interestingly, since the story broke last year, six US states have passed laws making it illegal for employers to do this.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of whether a company would be smart to hire someone who is willing to allow access to what should be private information. If you’ll give out your Facebook password to a random company, who is to say you won’t give access to your company server to anyone who asks?
Facebook weighed in, saying they would “take action to protect the privacy and security” of users (don’t hurt yourself laughing). Facebook as a crusader for users’ security seems a turn up for the books given the problems and legal challenges Facebook itself has faced in the past for privacy violations.
What’s your take?