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Surprising Science

Can Employers Ask for Your Facebook Login?

Facebook says employers who request applicants’ passwords will face ‘unanticipated legal challenges’. What does that mean, exactly? Would you hand your password over for a job?

What’s the Latest Development?

Would you hand over your Facebook login if it meant getting a job? That is the question some prospective employees are facing, particularly those in public service sectors like the police or firefighter corps. Companies who do not outright ask for your login information have a host of third-party applications at their service which scour social networks for information about your after-hours habits. It is (unfortunately) seen as ironic that Facebook is now seeking to protect user privacy, saying that companies who ask employees for login information face ‘unanticipated legal liability’. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Perhaps it is time for social networks to begin taking responsibility for their insistence on gathering and mining so much personal data, rather than doing what they like and letting the chips fall where they may. Facebook’s tendency to make ever-increasing amounts of data publicly available is creating a world in which “good, bad and ugly actors being able identify a face in a crowd and, in real time, uncover sensitive personal information like social security numbers and personal wealth about that person.” Do you think Facebook should take a longer view when it comes to protecting their users’ privacy? 

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