College Brief: Facebook password inquiries unethical, experts say

Facebook password inquiries unethical, experts say

Despite the national trend of employers asking interviewees for their Facebook passwords, some Boston companies said they do not ask for access to social networking sites to evaluate candidates.

Facebook recently released a statement on their site regarding the recent trend, acknowledged by U.S. senators, of employers asking for applicants’ Facebook passwords.

“This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends,” Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said in the statement. “It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.”

Egan said employers asking for employees’ passwords is not the right thing to do and may cause potential discrimination claims against the employers themselves.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, is working on legislation that would make this practice illegal.

Lu Ann Reeb, founder and president of Boston Media Group, said social media has become the first stop after reading a resume.

“It’s public information, that’s the bottom line,” Reeb said. “Asking for a password? That’s where I say no.”

— By Alex Diantgikis

The Daily Free Press, Boston University