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.