There are over 850 million people now registered to use Facebook. Many of those users have jobs where their employers monitor their Facebook activities. Its not unknown for a business to fire an employee based on what they have discovered on the employees Facebook page.
However, a few companies are taking things to the next level and asking employees to give up their Facebook passwords. This is a practice that Facebook has now come out against in a new public post on its Facebook Privacy page.
Written by Erin Egan, Facebooks Chief Privacy Officer, the post points out that it is a violation of Facebooks policies for anyone to give out their password or to solicit a Facebook password from another person.
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. But it also may cause problems for the employers that they are not anticipating. For example, if an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group (e.g. over a certain age, etc.) that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don’t hire that person.
Egan adds that Facebook will do whatever it can to protect the privacy of its users. That may even include "initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges."