An article on Mashable reports that Facebook has decided that it’s time to take a stand against employers who insist on logging into applicants Facebook accounts. The practice is against Facebooks Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Chief Privacy Officer for Facebook Erin Egan, who released the statement affirming Facebook’s commitment to fighting this practice, had this to say:
“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.”
Also in the article, DC area lawyer Bradley Shear said the practice is against the First Amendment and opens employers to discrimination lawsuits.
In my opinion Facebook is making a smart move by taking a stand against this practice. I have noticed several close friends deactivating their Facebook accounts due to privacy concerns, and this only exasperates the problem. If, hypothetically, I was at all willing to give an employer access to my account (I am not), it would be very inactive and basically a pseudo-LinkedIn profile. Facebook needs to encourage activity, and not allow employers to damage its reputation and harm its business model.
Is this practice a threat to Facebooks business? Would Facebook be successful in any legal action taken?