Employment and Facebook Privacy.∗
There have been recent reports that companies are asking prospective candidates for their username and passwords to their social media content. This is in direct violation of the terms of service agreement that a user has made with the social media provider and compromises not only their information but also compromises the privacy that is expected by all of the connections/users.
How do you respond to such a request? Example: “While I respect the fact that you would like access to my account; unfortunately, I must adhere to the Terms of Service Agreement presented by (insert social media provider, i.e.Facebook) for the privacy and safety of my account and those connected to my account and therefore will be unable to do so. As you can imagine, I would also not provide the username and passwords that would be issued by this company, in the event I am hired, and I hope you can appreciate my integrity regarding this matter.”
Also consider, this could be a test to see how trusted you would be in situations that could compromise the security and policies of the organization. How? Well if you are too quick to give up your Facebook username and password, not to mention violating the Rights and Responsibilities as a Facebook user, would you do the same with their company information, too? Something to think about.
Ethics and integrity in the workplace are valued commodities and you would want to question the ethics and integrity of an organization that would choose not to hire you in the event you stood firm on your commitment to avoid relinquishing or compromising your privacy and the privacy of other Facebook users.
DO NOT relinquish your Facebook or social media username and passwords to a prospective employer as a precondition of hire , in this case, you would be violating your agreement to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and compromising the privacy of your connections. Even if you feel you have “nothing to hide”, this is not only about you, but the expectations of privacy on behalf of your connections as well.
Registration and Account Security∗∗
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
2. You will not create more than one personal profile.
3. If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
4. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
5. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
6. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
7. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
8. You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
9. You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
10. If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).
∗Disclaimer: This is strictly the opinion of Denise Anne Taylor and should not constitute legal advice, if you question your rights please seek legal counsel.
∗∗Extracted from the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.