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Can Employers Ask For Your Facebook Credentials?

Earlier in the week we heard stories about how an employer asked for a possible employee’s Facebook credentials as part of the interview process. When the possible employee asked why, the employer said that he needed to check for possible gang activity. You can read the original story here. This is obviously insane and chances are if someone is engaging in gangs, they are using something less trackable. There might be someone who thinks there’s nothing wrong with this, but when I asked some people on my fanpage, no one thought it was a very good idea.

First of all, these days unfortunately a Facebook password can sometimes mean access to more than just Facebook. There are a lot of websites and services that are allowing you to log in via Facebook and Twitter instead of creating another account, and even if you do create another account, chances are that you probably use the same password for Facebook as you do for many other accounts due to the simplicity of the matter.

Giving someone your Facebook password isn’t just stupid no matter who it is, it’s also a direct violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions, which is a legal document.

You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.

Also, asking someone for their Facebook password, no matter the circumstance, is a violation as well.

You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.

Violating either one of these can get both your possible employer and you kicked off Facebook. Unless your possible employer is a law enforcement or federal agency, they have very little way around the rules and regulations put in place by Facebook. Employers can run extensive background checks whenever they want, but this has never (and shouldn’t) involve searching a Facebook account.

Here’s another reason, giving someone your Facebook password gives them third-party access to your friends. You’re not just giving them access to your messages, you’re giving them access to each and every one of their friends, which therefore violates their privacy because they will have no clue if an employer looks at their profile before you get the chance to go and change your password.

The ACLU is working to make sure that no employers have the right to do this. Some people don’t properly use Facebook and just use it to post and engage in garbage, but those people shouldn’t ruin it for people like you and me who use these tools for what they were intended for. Facebook is part of your personal life and we have always had full control of who we let have access to our private profiles. An employers being able to access Facebook accounts of employees or possible employees mixes personal life with work life, and that has never happened before and should stay that way.

About The Author

Paul Shirey is the founder of Paul Shirey Tech. Paul loves exploring and learning about the latest tech stories. When he isn't reporting the latest tech news and stories to you you will find him playing Minecraft and blowing himself up as much as possible.

Number of Entries : 337
  • http://www.NewHampshireMaineRealEstate.com/ Ann Cummings

    I heard about this on the news and found it completely appalling!  I understand employers wanting to know as much as they can about potential employees but asking for and expecting this type of info is going beyond the boundaries, in my opinion.  Several states are now considering legislation prohibiting this type of request.

  • http://xeeme.com/mithuhassan Mithu Hassan

    I don’t think there should be any problem! If really don’t want to disclose personal account password and Id in that case can create another ID only for Employer ! 

  • Andreas Wiedow

    Came across this and the statement of facebook via blog.resumebear.com last week.

  • http://osakabentures.com/english-2/saulfleischman/ Saul Fleischman

    it will be deemed illegal.  For now, we know its wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/abacnok Ernest Koncaba

    Facebook jumped on that artice like a hungry dog on a bone. Read this at resumebear’s site about a week ago, and was surprised it took Facebook so long to post the new TOS adjustments, which also give a job seeker the perfect reply to a request for their Facebook password. “Facebook does not allow me to share it with anyone.” .

  • http://twitter.com/BewitchedSalem bewitched in salem

    It’s pretty hard to imagine The employer not thinking that action was allowable.  

  • Ramesh Shankerlal

    It is wrong and illegal i think!

  • http://twitter.com/johnrodr johnrodr

    The logins seem to be discouraged by Facebook and the court. Surveillance and intrusion, however, may continue to be carried out through socnets and other means by both authorities and the less reputable so vigilance is merited. 

  • http://twitter.com/kchamp2691 Black Barbie

    True freedom of speech does not exist.  Whether this is allowed or not allowed so called friends are stabbing each other in the back and co-workers and printing out stuff from peoples pages and turning it into their bosses.  People they think they can trust they can’t.  People all over are either not getting hired for jobs or losing jobs for freedom of speech issues.  The truth is if you would not say it in front of the people you work with then don’t say it on facebook.

  • Fatfriaruk

    No way Jose as simple as that, I wouldn’t want to work for such an employer so best find out early :-)

  • cdogzilla

    There is no way I’d share my facebook log in credentials (or any other social network) with an employer. I would immediately withdraw my application to such an employer if I were looking. If my current employer asked, I’d tell them no and make sure they knew why such an intrusive, disrespectful request was not appreciated.

  • Bob

    It should be illegal. Anything you post as “public” should be fair game, otherwise it should be private.

  • John Sullivan

    They can Ask for Whatever they want as a condition of employment . Potential Employee can say no 

    • uDaeth

      You must be an employer

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=619444776 Catherine White

     IMO if an employees future employment is dependent on providing login details to any social network, the employee should consider seeking work elsewhere.

    This is akin to asking for access to one’s journal, credit card details, or even one’s age. I don’t know about the United States, but in Australia it’s illegal to ask a candidates their age.

    For instance, if employment is denied on the basis of declining to give one’s age, an action can be mounted against the employer.

    It’s astonishing this is even a conversation, however we have Facebook to thank for this privacy discussion.

    Employers are deploying a somewhat risky strategy pressuring candidates for these details, however Facebook have opened the privacy debate. Hence, the arrogant assumption an employer has a right to ask for such information.

    • uDaeth

      I believe if they are under 21 they need to know age here in the US. I dont know about above that

  • http://socialpositive.wordpress.com/ Nicolas Liu

    No matter what kind of stuff your posted on social media, you should not forced to reveal your password. Period. One man’s garbage could be treasure for a narrowly defined audience. 

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