Facebook today stirred up quite the storm when it outlined how it wants to protect its users from employers demanding access to their accounts. The company said it is looking to create new laws as well as take legal action wherever necessary. Menlo Park contacted me to clarify one point though: it's not suing any employers just yet.
Here's the original statement from Facebook Chief Privacy Officer for Policy Erin Egan:
Facebook takes your privacy seriously. 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. While we will continue to do our part, it is important that everyone on Facebook understands they have a right to keep their password to themselves, and we will do our best to protect that right.
Here's the clarification, courtesy of a Facebook spokesperson:
We don't think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords because we don't think it's right the thing to do. While we do not have any immediate plans to take legal action against any specific employers, we look forward to engaging with policy makers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users.
So there you have it. Facebook currently has no plans to take any legal action, but it is interested in using the law to protect its users. Remember: sharing or soliciting a Facebook password is a violation of the social network's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
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