Been looking for a job? Then you know it’s not easy out there, even though there are more online job resources than ever to help you, like the Careers section of My.EarthLink.net.
One more recent complication to the job search? Some employers have started asking job applicants for their Facebook usernames and passwords so they can log in and snoop around. Really.
The ACLU denounced this practice as “an invasion of privacy,” saying it is “out of bounds” to look through a person’s private social media accounts.
Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan issued a strongly worded denouncement, calling this an “alarming” practice that “might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends.” She also reminded users that “it is it a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.”
On the legal and legislative fronts, Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have called for investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and said they are writing a bill to fill in any privacy gaps in existing laws.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter already proposed a Facebook user protection amendment, but it was voted down yesterday 236 to 184, mostly on party lines (only one Republican voted for it, only two Democrats voted against it).
EarthLink reminds all of our members that sharing online passwords compromises your privacy and is a great security risk. Our members are required to take full responsibility for keeping their EarthLink passwords confidential and reporting any unauthorized use of your account information.
Expect more news about the investigations into this issue and additional attempts at national or state legislation to prevent employers from asking job applicants for personal and private social network logins.