Facebook is a majorly successful social network. Hundreds of thousands of people use the network each day to share information with their friends and participate in various online communities. The network is also popular amongst businesses, though not in the same way as it is with consumers. To many businesses, Facebook is a tool for social media marketing. It can be used to market to a specific demographic, or to investigate a potential hire. The latter purpose is becoming more commonplace, and Facebook is looking to put an end to the practice.
According to Facebook executives, companies have been petitionaing the network for user passwords. These passwords would be used to log in to a person’s account and browse its private contents, such as messages and any hidden details, including photos and even connections with other people. Facebook claims that these companies are looking to get their hands on a user’s password in order to gauge the character of prospective employees. Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan, however, notes that it is serious insurance risk and violation of privacy and says that the company will take legal action against any employer that asks for passwords from now on.
In terms of insurance, privacy is a serious matter. Last year, an outbreak of hacking compromised the data of thousands of consumers whose information was stored by companies like Sony. Sony was liable for this breach of security and privacy, costing the company millions of dollars, much of which was fronted by insurance companies.
Facebook is not alone in its stance and has garnered the backing of lawmakers from both California and Washington.