bill-swift - March 28, 2012
The subject of Facebook in the workplace has always been a touchy one. Employees have been known to bash their bosses and talk trash about the companies they're working for, while employers are, well, pretty pissed about the whole thing.
That said, it's not very surprising to hear that some employers have resorted to playing the Facebook police by asking employees for access to their social networking accounts. This is a clear violation of the employees' privacy, although I have to say that those who ranted about their bosses on such a pubic platform are huge douchebags themselves.
Facebook has since taken to the defense of their users though, saying that it was looking to create new laws that would make it illegal for employers to ask for passwords or for access to the social networking accounts of their subordinates.
We'll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges.
-- Erin Egan, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer for Policy
However, Facebook has no plans to file any lawsuits as some people mistakenly interjected from Egan's statement. This was clarified by a spokesperson from the social network shortly after Egan made his comments.
We don't think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don't think it's right the thing to do. While we do not have any immediate plans to take legal action against any specific employers, we look forward to engaging with policy makers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users.
A word to the wise: you might as well deactivate your account (or delete it and save yourself from future safety and security hazards in the process) so your employers won't have anything to ask for, if things will ever come to that.
Article by Hazel Chua
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