Facebook on Friday 23rd March warned employers around the world that requesting job applicants to provide their Facebook password is in breach of its Terms and will likely cause legal issues. Facebook has seen an increase in demand for job applicant login details. Erin Egan, Privacy Officer for Facebook has clearly stated Facebook will on no account provide these details.
There is a growing trend among companies to demand access to Facebook profile and private details of employees/new job applicants, but this is a clear breach of Facebook Privacy and Terms of Service (TOS). Some major companies believe they have a god given right to access your private life. More importantly, applicants can feel pressured into either providing their login details or accepting a friend request from HR or someone in that company. Would you want to deny access? I doubt it, not if you want that dream job.
What do employers plan to do with an applicants profile data? Keep tabs on your private life so you don’t bring that company into disrepute is one thought I have. In most instances an employer will ask for access to your Facebook profile for a limited amount of time to complete the background check, which isn’t too dissimilar to credit checking someone or asking for a reference from a previous employer. I don’t see a problem with this process.
Currently in the UK and US, it isn’t unlawful to ask someone for a password. It’s what you do with that password that has legal consequences (this works the same way as identity theft and identity fraud). A recent development has seen some businesses develop third-party Facebook apps that accesses applicants’ profiles through their application job sites. Users register and login and accept the app which will then access the various elements of a users’ Facebook profile. If you want a job, then it’s unlikely you will deny your employer access to your Facebook page whether it’s directly from HR or via a third-party app.
Safe surfing folks!