Password protected: How much is too much?
With social media becoming a larger part of people’s daily lives, it was only a matter of time before that popularity was translated to the workplace. However, it is going too far when an employer asks for the password to their worker’s personal account.
Lately, according to the Associated Press, it has become common for North American employers to ask potential or current employees for the passwords to their personal Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts as a further screening measure.
For many, even the act of asking for the passwords to their personal accounts is a huge invasion of privacy—and, in many cases, it is actually an infraction of a site’s policies to share your password with anyone, even an employer.
A message from Facebook administration to the public states they are against this new practice of sharing passwords with employers, and discourage employers from asking at all.
“As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. 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,” said the official statement released by Facebook.
According to the National Post, Facebook is also taking measures to sue employers who ask job seekers for their passwords, since the request is being called a violation of Facebook’s user agreement.
It isn’t fair for employers to turn down a potential worker simply because they refused to share their personal account information with them.
Since this is clearly a large-scale invasion of privacy on the employer’s part, the answer from employees should be a resounding no.
Employers should have no right to even be asking for the password to someone’s personal accounts, let alone rejecting or firing someone for not provided it.
If an employer asks for your password, your best course of action is probably to do what Facebook is suggesting and not give it to them. After politely explaining your reasoning of course.