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Controversy over Employers and Colleges Asking for Facebook Password of Applicants

Published: March 26, 2012

At the beginning of this month there were reports telling that there is an increasing number of employers and colleges demanding applicants and job seekers a full access to their Facebook accounts. As an example of this, the state's Department of Corrections in Maryland used to ask applicants to surrender their username and password, but after a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union they changed this practice and started asking the job seekers to log in to their accounts during the interview in order to let the interviewers watch while they navigated through their private content.

Another similar practice, reported by student-athletes in colleges, was to ask the applicants to add a coach or compliance officer as a Facebook friend, in this way letting that person see their content set to be visible only to friends.

Three days ago, March 23, Facebook addressed this issue in a note in which it pronounced clearly against that practice, saying that it undermines the privacy and the security of both the user and his friends, and that sharing or soliciting a Facebook password is a violation of the company's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Among other things, in that note Facebook also warned employers that by using this practice they are exposing themselves to claims of discrimination if they don't hire the applicant.

Yesterday, March 25, two US senators called for America's Attorney General, Eric Holder, to investigate whether interviewers requesting Facebook passwords from applicants are breaking federal law.

Meanwhile the issue is generating an intense debate and everything indicates that there will be more news on it.

By Rom Cartridge. Image courtesy of Michael Gäbler through Wikipedia.

© Copyright 2010-2018 ROM Cartridge

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