Many employers are now entering the new “trend” of requesting Facebook passwords from applicants.
The social networking site however, is reportedly warning these employers not to demand passwords from job applicants.
Asking an applicant for his or her password is an invasion of privacy and adds an unfavorable amount of pressure for that person.
A person may feel obligated to offer his or her password while assuming the denied password would hinder the prospective job possibility.
Site officials say that not only is the request an invasion of privacy against the applicant, but it also opens companies to various legal liabilities and further responsibilities.
Legal action could certainly arise, however, if someone is applying for a job that requests his or her password, how likely is itthat a person would report the company for a job which he or she is applying?
Especially in the current job market, many people would go various distances to land the job for which he or she is desperately seeking and applying.
At the same time, however, denying the employer the account information should not alter the probability of that person being hired. It should not effect their chances.
No one should be forced to share that information.
The site contains an immediate disclaimer that users should not offer their account information.
Perhaps due to the blended mix of private and public information, employers do not recognize the harm in requesting such a piece of information.
The Associated Press revealed a series of documented cases where job applicants were asked during interviews to release their Facebook passwords.
The employers similarly defended this action by claiming it was a justified act to check and observe the applicants’ backgrounds.
Though it may be justified to some degree as the proper protocol for one’s background, how will a social networking site reveal any necessary information that will make or break one’s credibility on a job application?
Who is to say that if a Facebook user posts controversial comments on his or her wall, it will not affect the chance of that person being hired by a company disagreeing with the posts made?
If a Facebook user posts promiscuous pictures on his or her site, he or she will certainly be reconsidered for a position in the field of education.
However, it is a very different situation if the pictures were made public or private.
If the pictures were made public, surely that user should already be reconsidering his or her desired field of profession. Though if the pictures were made private, why should anyone have access to the pictures other than the user?
Facebook has followed up with these concerns and will continue its long-standing policy that discourages users from sharing their information.
The issue presented on the site coincides with many additional concepts.
Credit card information, a debit PIN, even school identification numbers are all considered private information and should not be discussed with a prospective job employer, especially during an interview for a position.
Social Security numbers are touchy subjects and most people are sensitive to sharing this over the phone or in person.
Most applications require this number to validate one’s identity, but a Facebook password does not necessarily identify someone.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes similarly opposes the request and stands by the disclaimer and said that while it is no business other than that of the user, employers should not be requesting applicants to supply their passwords. “We don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
It is not the right 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 policymakers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users,” Noyes said.
The account information for Facebook users is not the business of any company or person, regardless of the business in which the company is involved in.
Unless a Facebook user is entering a field involving computer-hacking, why should anyone be concerned with the account information of anyone other than him or herself?
If companies begin requesting our account passwords for our social sites, will the invasive request ultimately discourage people to use such sites?