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Facebook: You Have the Right Not to Give Employers Your Passwords

Published: March 28, 2012

In recent months, an increasing number of companies and organizations have been asking prospective employees not only for their Facebook usernames, but also for their passwords. What started as a seemingly isolated incident in North Carolina last year turned out to be a lot more common than we thought. Last Friday, Facebook addressed the situation for the first time, and the company has this to say: You have the right not to give employers your passwords if and when they ask.

In an update on the website, company Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan talked about how alarming the practice is, and how it compromises the privacy of everyone on your friend list, along with your own. According to Egan: “It is important that everyone on Facebook understands they have a right to keep their password to themselves.” In fact, if you take a look at Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, it’s a violation to share your password with anyone else. 

Meanwhile, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is currently writing a bill to prohibit any employer from ever practicing the unspeakable policy. The Senator told the website Politico that he is deeply troubled by this tactic, and that his bill would be ready very soon.

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