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Facebook defends users' rights to password privacy

Consumer Reports News: March 23, 2012 02:08 PM

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Facebook has sometimes come under fire for its privacy policies and practices. But today, the social media giant issued a statement in defense of privacy, opposing employers' asking employees and job applicants for their Facebook passwords.

From Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, Policy for Facebook:

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.... As a user, you shouldn't be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. And as the friend of a user, you shouldn't have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don't know and didn't intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job.

Egan also points out that employers could potentially discover information about a job applicant or an employee that could put the employer under legal pressure in a variety of ways.

"Consumers should never be forced to compromise their online security and privacy, or those of their friends, to land or keep a job, any more than they should be forced to hand an employer the combination to their home safe," said Jeff Fox, privacy expert at Consumer Reports. "Facebook is right to oppose this practice."

For more tips on how to protect yourself online, see our Guide to Online Security at

Protecting Your Passwords and Your Privacy [Facebook]
Facebook and FTC near settlement over site's privacy settings

Carol Mangis

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