A major controversy has erupted over recent reports that a growing number of employers are demanding potential hires turn over Facebook passwords to HR reps.
The social networking site has officially expressed its opposition to such hiring practices by emphasizing that sharing an account password is a violation of its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
“As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job,” Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan wrote in a blog post earlier this morning.
“And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job.”
ACLU attorney Catherine Crump expressed similar sentiments in a statement quoted by the Associated Press.
“It’s an invasion of privacy for private employers to insist on looking at people’s private Facebook pages as a condition of employment or consideration in an application process,” she said. “[Clearly], people are entitled to their private lives [outside of work].”
Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Blumenthal confirmed he is drafting a bill to outlaw the controversial practice. The Connecticut Democrat and former state attorney general told Politico requests for Facebook passwords from prospective employers is little more than an “unreasonable invasion” of privacy.
“I am very deeply troubled by the practices that seem to be spreading voraciously around the country… [An] employer has a lot of [other legitimate] ways to find out information about potential new employees,” he added.