What’s a job seeker to do? There are 12.8 million unemployed people in the U.S. filling out job application after job application, trying to land a paycheck. The lucky ones get called in for an interview. The interviewer cannot, by law, ask about your marital status, your religion, or a whole slew of other forbidden topics.◼ Local employers use Facebook too; job services recommend caution when updating online - Times-Standard
What they can ask you for, however, is your Facebook password.
...Hansen recommends people keep their social network personalities free of anything they wouldn't want shared with potential employers, regardless of the private or public settings on their accounts....◼ Facebook says just say no to giving up passwords, threatens legal action; Eureka attorney says employers could open themselves to liability - Times-Standard
Facebook says just say no to giving up passwords, threatens legal action; Eureka attorney says employers could open themselves to liabilityHowever: ◼ Facebook privacy faceoff: Court orders password swapping - Julia Goralka/Washington Times
A Facebook privacy official, responding to reports that employers have been asking potential employees in interviews for their passwords to social networks in order to view their profiles, released a blog post Friday morning telling members not to disclose the information and warning employers against the practice.
As the Mercury News reported in January and the Associated Press reported earlier this week, jobseekers say that some potential employers have requested their Facebook password in order to view their private profiles.
In a Friday blog post, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan told Facebook users that providing their password to anyone else is a violation of Facebook's user agreement as well as unfair to the user.
”If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends,” Egan wrote.
Egan warned that the Menlo Park company could lobby lawmakers to halt the practice, or possibly file lawsuits.
”We'll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges,” Egan wrote.
While Facebook’s Terms of Service require that users not turn over their passwords to anyone, the courts have discovered a confidentiality loophole. The operators at Facebook and MySpace have complete access to accounts. Therefore, everything posted on those accounts, everything, is considered to be stated in the presence of a third party.
There is no confidentiality on facebook. No attorney/client privilege. No doctor/patient confidentiality. Laws may differ by state, but once the courts get involved, there’s not a whole lot of difference between what is listed as “Public” and what is listed as “Private.”