Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, March 23, 2012

Employers Who Require Job Applicants’ Facebook Passwords

It’s not illegal to be an asshole, but it CAN put you at the business end of a huge lawsuit.  Facebook is threatening legal action against the growing number of sickfuck nosy employers who have too much time on their hands.

More and more employers are demanding that employees and job applicants provide their Facebook login IDs and passwords.  Or in less extreme cases, they’re told to log on to Facebook — without revealing their password — and then allow a supervisor to pore over their Facebook page.

Get a life!  Were these stupid shits getting bored watching paint dry or pulling the wings off of flies?  Don’t they have some real work to do?

Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, has posted a note on Facebook’s privacy page.  The note says Facebook will “take action to protect the privacy and security of our users.”

It also says:

“This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends. It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.”

And:

“Facebook takes your privacy seriously. 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.”

It’s too bad these Peeping Toms needed to be told to grow up and find something constructive to do.  Hopefully they’ll heed the warning.

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9 Comments:

Blogger jadedj said...

I totally agree, Tom, and this sort of employer abuse really pisses me off. But unfortunately many employees will be intimidated by such a policy...in fear of their jobs. And in today's job market (or lack of), that's a very real fear.

I for one hate Facebook, and this is one of the reasons...it can be used against you in so many ways. So, in my view, if one has a Facebook page, and has a nosy asshole of an employer, prudence is probably the best course.

March 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow what a stroke of genius on Facebook’s legal people. By law, an employer can’t ask questions like your age, or if you are married and if it says that in your facebook, then the employer would be violating federal law. Previously employers were getting away with it because the privacy laws hadn’t gone as far as to cover electronic media.

An employer would have to actually hire you and then ask for your passwords to make sure you aren’t saying anything you shouldn’t though, and it would be interesting to see if they can get around that one.

Also interesting to see how far Facebook intends to carry it in court.

Like the internet privacy law, sometimes we do when our Billionaires fight their Billionaires.

I still support this requirement for Law enforcement, a department and the public needs to know if its employees are compromising confidential information on their facebooks.


Erik

March 23, 2012 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

There ought to be a law against all such invasions of privacy. I wouldn't be surprised to see a backlash that leads to a law. Same goes for requiring job seekers to sign away their right to sue if cheated or mistreated, agreeing instead to using the employer's choice of arbitrators. It's all getting way out of hand.

March 24, 2012 at 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

This is why I will never be more than a political persona on FB. With a tightly locked account.

March 24, 2012 at 4:39 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Sounds like you all have something to hide, you terrorist sympathizers, you.

March 24, 2012 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Tried Facebook once. Found it about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Okay Randal hand over your password. We all want to know what's behind your twisted mind.

March 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

jadedj: I don't have any use for Facebook either. I have an account but I don't use it for anything. It's unfortunate but true that job applicants and employees will be afraid not to comply with these ridiculous employer demands.

Erik: That's an interesting legal twist. If a potential employer finds out a job applicant's age, ethnic group or anything else that's protected, the employer could be sued for discrimination if they don't hire this person.

A law enforcement agency might have a little bit more of a reason to browse through an applicant's Facebook page, but I still don't think it should be allowed. Law enforcement agencies need to do a better job of psychological screening to weed out the psycho applicants, and unfortunately that's not as easy as just nosing through somebody's Facebook page.

SW: I'm glad Facebook has the clout to take a stand on this issue. Whether it's getting a law passed or taking violators to court, Facebook has the clout to stand up to business lobbies.

JR: Same with me. I have a Facebook account but I never use it for anything. My profile has almost zero information.

Randal: I've been communicating with al Qaeda on my Facebook page, and I...er, uhhh, I mean...

Demeur: I'd opt for the paint-drying contest if I had to choose one.

March 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

Thank goodness Facebook is acting as a guard against the predation of Corporate Vultures upon the American worker.

But, this is just one episode in the War to enslave us to Corporate Hegemony.

March 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Grung: You're right, this is just one battle in the endless war between corporate vultures and the rest of us.

March 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM  

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