(Photo courtesy of Mashable.com)
(Photo courtesy of Mashable.com)

Would you give up your Facebook username and password to a potential employer?

  • No (97%, 33 Votes)
  • Yes (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

View student responses below the story.

BY LAURA CLARK, Staff Writer

Facebook is not happy with employers right now.

The world’s largest social networking site is taking a stand against requests for potential employees to give their usernames and passwords during job interviews. According to Facebook, sharing or soliciting a password is a violation of its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said, “As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. 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.”

Two U.S. Senators have asked the Attorney General, Eric Holder, to investigate this issue, and see whether the employers who ask for passwords are violating federal law. These laws include the Stored Communications Act, which prohibits intentional access to electronic information without authorization, and also the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which forbids people from intentionally accessing a computer without authorization to obtain information.

Recent requests by employers for the Facebook passwords of potential employees have caused not only a major backlash and threats of legal action from Facebook and the government, but also harsh criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Attorney Catherine Crump released a statement from the ACLU against the issue, saying, “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. People are entitled to their private lives.”

The ACLU encouraged and applauded Facebook’s threat to sue employers engaging in this practice, saying that they are glad Facebook is taking this problem seriously. They also said they believe that it will take congressional action to stop the practice altogether.

Word of Mouth is the weekly question we want your opinion on.

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Would you give up your Facebook username and password to a potential employer?

Elizabeth Bastian (@LizzieBas): “No way! An employer that cares that much about your personal life is not one I want to work for.”

Thomas Makled (@thmakled): “Nope. If I compromise the mission, the agency will eliminate me.”

Irene Mo (@imokx): “1) It’s not their place to ask. 2) No. Why would they need it in the first place?”

Mark Scarano (@MarkScarano): “No thank you, theirs a line between business and personal relations, and it shouldnt be crossed.”

Katelyn Hovey (@Katelyn_Grace_): “Absolutely not! I read article about this, and it is a complete violation of privacy. My profile is private for a reason!”

Chumly Fernando (@ChumlyFernando): “It would depend on the job, something part-time? Hell no. But if it was serious I would have to…that or make a fake one.”

Dalton Floyd (@Daltoyd): “No. Despite barely using my facebook account, it’s still an invasion of privacy.”

Mike Brennan (@PSPMikebrennan): “Absolutely not.”

Sean Kollipara (@pt262): “How would they like it if i shared my employee login information with someone else?”

Jake Wedlick: “No, because I want to keep my professional and personal life separate.”

Gabrielle Boyer: “No. I am still entitled to privacy.”

Ashraf Aboukhodr: “I am going for computer engineering and i also work as IT admin at wayne state; two very important things to remember when using computers: one – backup your data! and two – never give away your passwords. would you give up a key to your house so someone can rummage through it? absolutely not. same concept.”

Kristin Braun: “No. But, I might be a little paranoid that my potential boss (or a coworker) may have a mutual friend…and then they may inadvertently be able to see things? I don’t know…maybe I’m overthinking it…I try not to get too personal on facebook either way.”

Joshua Morrison: “I would not want to work for a company willing to break the law. It’s illegal, you cannot demand access to that kind of information because it forces the potential employee to violate privacy policies facebook has in place.”

The views presented, unless otherwise noted, are of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of The Michigan Journal Editorial Board, the University of Michigan-Dearborn faculty or administration.